To be considered for an internship, candidates must:
- be a recent graduate* or current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO;
- have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant to, or of interest to, the work of the organization; and
- not have immediate relatives (father, mother, brother, or sister) working for UNHCR as a staff member on any contract type or as an affiliate at the time of application.
*Recent graduates are considered to be candidates who completed their studies within two years of applying for an internship with UNHCR.
Internships are offered at various locations, including UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, the Global Service Centres in Amman, Budapest and Copenhagen, or in field country offices. Subject to approval of their managers, interns may telework within or outside of the country of duty station.
Internships are made available based on the needs of offices and their capacity to receive and supervise interns and provide them with meaningful assignments.
Length of placement
Internships can begin at any time during the year and normally lasts two to six months with the possibility of extension up to eight months.
Food and local transportation allowance and travel costs
Interns who do not receive financial support from an outside party will receive an allowance to partially help support costs related to food, local transportation and living expenses.
Unless provided or paid by their sponsoring entities, UNHCR will also reimburse interns engaged from a location outside the country of the duty station for return travel costs to/from the duty station by the most economical route available irrespective of the duration of the journey. It is the intern’s responsibility to arrange for a visa and to cover related visa costs. UNHCR can provide support with the required documents.
Before the start of an internship with UNHCR, candidates are responsible for arranging medical insurance and for providing proof to UNHCR of valid medical insurance covering the period of the contract. UNHCR accepts no responsibility for any costs connected to medical insurance of interns, nor does the organization cover the costs for medical evacuation of interns. Interns working in locations where medical facilities are inadequate are advised to ensure that their medical insurance covers emergency medical evacuation.
Furthermore, the health insurance selected by interns should provide the necessary geographical coverage for both accident and illness.
Current internship opportunities
Internships are advertised on the main UNHCR recruitment platform and new opportunities are regularly added.
Some regional and country offices also post internship opportunities on their dedicated websites. We encourage interested applicants to frequently visit these sites to search for available opportunities. Browse country websites.
How to apply
Interested candidates should apply via the main UNHCR recruitment platform.
Our Application and selection page explains how create an account in the recruitment platform and apply for roles. We also encourage you to read our internship FAQs before you submit an application.
Our interns said
Chrissy Sandwen, Intern, Community-Based Protection:
"The best part about interning at UNHCR has been working as a part of the Community-Based Protection team. They are all such incredibly kind, driven, and intelligent people. Being able to contribute to ensuring that the voices and capacities of refugees, IDPS, and stateless people are incorporated into all facets of protection work has been exceptionally rewarding. My internship has given me the passion and skills to continue this work in the next phase of my career."
Natasha Chabbra, Intern, Energy and Environment Unit:
"My time interning with UNHCR was unforgettable. I was involved in procurement processes for core relief items including fuel efficient cookstoves and portable solar lamps with mobile charging. It was incredibly rewarding knowing that at the end of the process, refugees would have access to these items, making their day to day lives a little easier, whilst reducing environmental impact. Despite the monumental numbers of refugees that continue to be created by conflict, persecution and soon, climate change, I have faith that the passionate and driven people I worked with at UNHCR will continue to find ways to provide protection to those in need."
Amen Kouyou, Intern, DO/Bureau for Africa/East and Horn of Africa, Chad and Sudan:
Working with the Regional Africa Bureau has been a tremendously rich and exciting experience. It was a unique opportunity for me to work with senior skilled professionals specialized in the humanitarian sector. I contributed in drafting SMC (Senior Management Committee) notes and compiled budget information on Excel files for the East and Horn pillar. Moreover I had the pleasure of meeting refugees from all around the world and listening to their daily struggles, in order to best respond to their needs. Working with UNHCR is not just a job that one has to fulfil, but working together for the greater good."