Volunteering for the UN and UN Internships in the US
For people looking to learn more about the workings of a prominent world body, gain further insight into international politics, or simply to contribute to the cause of world development, there are many options for volunteer and intern experiences.
UN Women Internship Programme
UN Women is a voluntary fund agency of the UN, which was created to support and advance the empowerment of women worldwide. To this end they seek independent funding for civil and government projects that aim to educate women, bring them into the workforce and prepare them for leadership roles. UN Women offers an Internship Program for graduate students that enable them to work on projects currently underway. While the main office of UN Women is located in Manhattan, not far from the United Nations Plaza, internships are also available at regional offices around the world.
UN Development Programme (Washington) Internship
As the voice connecting the UNDP to the government and public of the USA, UNDP Washington has a critical role in spreading awareness of the progress of worldwide development, current issues that impede that progress, and what steps can be taken by developed nations to lessen their impact and support the UN's goals. The Washington office offers both a general internship program, and specific internships when required. These positions are designed for graduate level students and range from 2 to 6 months in duration.
UNICEF Volunteer Centre
By registering as a volunteer with UNICEF, you gain access to a network of like-minded individuals, online training, fundraising tools and news about current UNICEF initiatives. Much of the role of UNICEF in the United States is political advocacy and raising public awareness about humanitarian issues, as well as helping to provide funding for development projects. Towards these ends there are a variety of free teaching resources, as well as programs for both high school and college clubs. College students can search for clubs in their states, with Texas, New York, Ohio and California being amongst the most active.
World Bank Internship
The World Bank offers paid internships for individuals in the process of earning a Masters or PhD degree in the fields of finance, economics, development, agriculture social science and similar disciplines. These internships last for several months and exist to bring new ideas and experiences into the Bank, while also providing students with connections and experience that will help them in their future employment. These internships mainly take place in Washington DC, although regional placements are available.
United Nations Internship Programme
Through the UN Careers site one can find information on internships offered by every office of the United Nations. Most of the internships are available only for graduate students, with a relevant educational background to the department that offers the internship. However, prior work experience is not required. The positions are typically fulltime, unpaid and only 2 to 6 months in duration and the majority take place in New York and Bangkok. Internships introduce students to the functions of an international organisation, with a focus on both utilising the existing competencies of the candidate as well as building new skills.