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Project of the Week: USAID Student Intern Programs – 4 January 2011

USAID (United States Agency for International Development)

Most of us on GovLoop are a) employed and b) educated, but we all have children or know children who can benefit from the USAID’s Intern Program. Applications for “paid” programs preclude a security clearance – check with the USAID to determine if the window of opportunity is available for 2011.

Other USAID internships are more flexible and a window of opportunity may still exist for 2011.

And, of course, planning today for 2012 is not a bad idea either. There are many varied bureau and legislative internships in addition to field and paid internships.

Why an internship?

Maybe the USAID’s VodCast regarding entering USAID’s cadre of human capital explains it best:

What do USAID Interns Do?

This is a Monterey Institute MBA students conversation on her USAID and Peace Corp career. While filming is minimalist (like much of YouTube) – Ms. Schneider provides some fluid information regarding USAID internships in the field.

Paid Student Intern Program

The agency will be sponsoring paid internships throughout the academic year. We seek highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide variety of fields, including engineering, computer science, mathematics, economics, foreign languages, area studies, business administration, accounting, international relations, finance, logistics, human resources, geography, public health, national security studies, military and foreign affairs, political science and public administration. Selected interns will be placed in various bureaus within the agency.

The basic qualifying factors to be eligible for this program are:

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Current Enrollment in a College or University
  • A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0

Please click here to review the full description of our Student Intern Program.

U.S. Agency for International Development Student Intern Program

There are two types of paid internships:

  • SCEP (Student Career Experience Program) – this component offers you valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study. It provides formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. It requires a commitment from you, your school, and the employing Federal agency. You may be eligible for permanent employment conversion under this program after successfully completing your education and meeting work requirements.
  • STEP (Student Temporary Experience Program) – this component offers temporary employment that will enable you to earn a salary while continuing your studies. Appointments to jobs under this program can range from summer jobs to positions that can last for as long as you are a student. An agency, at their discretion, may establish academic and job performance standards that students must meet to continue in the program. There is no permanent employment conversion element under this program.

The basic qualifying factors to be eligible to participate in this program are:

  • U.S. Citizenship (does not include “permanent resident”)
  • Current Enrollment in an accredited college or university;
  • In good academic standing with an accredited institution
  • A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0
  • A transcript indicating a student’s major and GPA.
    • (An unofficial transcript is acceptable during the application process; however an official transcript must be submitted upon hire.)

We will be accepting applications for Summer 2011 Paid Student Internship Program with USAID from November 24, 2010 – December 17, 2010. Students tentatively selected for the internship program must undergo a background investigation and receive a security clearance. The clearance process takes approximately 90-120 days to complete from the time the forms are received by our Office of Security. Failure to obtain a security clearance will preclude candidates from obtaining an internship. Click here to apply. Due to the large number of applications received, we are unable to respond to all of the applicants individually. Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.

Question & Answers

  1. What programs does USAID offer students? Students of all levels will find that the U.S. Agency for International Development is a rewarding place to acquire skills that will last a lifetime. We have a variety of programs, including a limited number of paid internships, plus volunteer internship positions and fellowships, which allow students to participate in projects vital to the success of U.S. foreign policy. Overseas or in Washington D.C., there may be a student program that matches your background and will help you to achieve your goals. For more information, visit http://www.usaid.gov/careers/studentprograms.html *
  2. Can I participate in a Student Program if I am not a U.S. Citizen? The programs listed on the Agency website are for students who are U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens may apply for programs available through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), at http://exchanges.state.gov
  3. What are some of the responsibilities assigned to Interns? The work assigned to an intern in most office divisions includes research, writing program memoranda, drafting documents, facilitating meetings and special events, attending program discussions in the Agency and at the Department of State, and communicating on program issues USAID field Missions abroad. USAID interns are regularly included in bi-weekly meetings of the entire legal staff for discussions about current issues relating to USAID and to specific foreign assistance programs. Interns may work in one of the Agency Regional Bureaus: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia, or Latin America and the Caribbean, or in one of the technical sectors such as democracy, economic growth, education, humanitarian assistance, and global health. USAID internship assignments are also available in the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs.
  4. What are the benefits of becoming a student intern at USAID? USAID works in agriculture, democracy & governance, economic growth, the environment, education, health, global partnerships, and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries to provide a better future for all. Join us in our mission to make the world a better place.
  5. How do I apply? Application processes and deadlines vary depending on the particular student internship or fellowship available at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Some positions require you to be nominated for application; others you can initiate on your own. We suggest you review the various opportunities to determine which one is the best match for you. At the end of each description is information, or a link to information, that provides details about the position’s specific requirements, application process, vacancy announcements, and deadlines.

Volunteer Student Interns

The basic qualifying factors to be eligible to participate in this program are:

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Current Enrollment in a College or University;
  • A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0

Volunteer Student Intern vacancies are posted on this site when opportunities are available. Please review the vacancies along with additional qualifications and apply to any that interest you by e-mailing the contact person(s) listed. Send a resume, cover letter of your interest and possible dates of involvement.

NOTICE: Student vacancies are advertised as they become available. If no vacancies are listed, then there are no vacancies. Please continue to check the website for open vacancies.

Internships in the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs

Internships in the Office of the General Counsel

  • General Counsel: Information on legal internships for law students is available at the Legal Internships page

Internships in the Office of Transition Initiatives

Internships in Regional Bureaus

  • Africa: USAID’s Africa Bureau expects to have a limited number of Summer 2010 internships available in a few of our overseas missions in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in Washington, D.C. This is an excellent opportunity for outstanding students interested in pursuing careers in international development. Click here to apply.


Thank you for your patience with the Project of the Week in early January 2011 being delayed. An immediate family member passed a few days prior to submission date and we were involved in all the activities associated with this loss.


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