International Internship Opportunities
International and Multicultural Services
The Metro Louisville Office of International Affairs works to assist international newcomers to Louisville, whether they are new residents, such as immigrants and refugees, or shorter-term inhabitants of the community such as students or visitors.
Sister Cities of Louisville, Inc. is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to global friendship, multicultural understanding, and economic growth by developing lasting relationships between the Louisville area and Sister Cities around the world.
The Arcadia Community Center is a non-profit organization that exists to empower families by providing holistic services that help them reach self-sufficiency and independence. Arcadia Community Center provides programs and services to the 1,600 diverse residents of the Arcadia Park Apartments in South Louisville, including job placement, adult ESL, after school programs, a food pantry, monthly community dinners and more. Please contact us about an international internship at 502.375.1819.
International Economic Development
Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development, International Trade Division (ITD) assists businesses with their international endeavors. The ITD in Frankfort provides export counseling, trade show, trade mission and catalogue show assistance, trade leads and information concerning licensing and customs.
Kentucky World Trade Center offers market research, trade-lead referrals, cross-cultural training and trade education programs. Offices are located in Louisville and Lexington. The Kentucky World Trade Center is affiliated with the World Trade Centers Association in New York, which administers over 300 world trade centers in over 100 countries around world.
Social Services and ESL Tutoring
Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. is the refugee resettlement office in the state of Kentucky for two national church-based programs: The Episcopal Migration Ministries and Church World Service. Kentucky Refugee Ministries is authorized by the U.S. Dept. of State to assist refugees who have been legally admitted to the United States, as victims of warfare or other forms of persecution because of their religious or political beliefs.
The Americana Community Center is a non-profit 501-C 3 organization which seeks to provide a spectrum of services for the many diverse residents of Americana Apartments and the surrounding area. This enables people to discover and utilize resources to build strong families, create a safe, supportive community and realize their individual potential.
Jefferson County Public Schools, English as a Second Language (ESL) Program serves students coming from environments where English is not the primary language. Through the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, ESL teachers and bilingual associate instructors share with regular classroom teachers the responsibility of educating students with limited English proficiency.
Diplomacy and Foreign Service
U.S. State Department Internships are a great way to see if a career in diplomacy is for you. These internships with the U.S. diplomatic services are available in Washington, DC and overseas. Most are unpaid, but in the case of unpaid overseas internships, housing may be provided free. These are non-credit internships.
- Eligibility: U.S. citizens who are undergraduate (junior or senior) or graduate students, who will continue as students. You do not have to take the Foreign Service Exam in order to apply for a State Department internship.
- Application deadlines: November 1 for summer internships, March 1 for fall internships, and July 1 for spring internships.
The application for internships and information is available online, though you have to print it out and mail it in. Allow yourself plenty of time to order transcripts, research the bureau (or two bureaus) you choose to apply to, and write the all-important statement of interest.
U.S. Foreign Service hires Foreign Service Officers to work for the Department of State in U.S. embassies around the world and occasionally in Washington, DC. To apply, you must take the Foreign Service Exam, which is similar to the GRE, and includes 1) a test of English expression and usage, 2) a section on international "job-related" knowledge, 3) a biographic information questionnaire section, and 4) an essay to test general writing skills. It's usually given once a year and is free. Most people take it more than once before passing. Since only the highest score counts, there's no reason not to take it!
- Eligibility: U.S. citizens at least 20 years of age on the date of the examination, who are willing to be assigned anywhere worldwide. The State Department also has some career positions as Foreign Service Specialists, which do not require the Foreign Service Exam, in areas such as Information Technology.
- FSO exams will be offered once, sometimes twice, a year. The exam is usually scheduled in April with registration from January to March. Click here to register for the exam, obtain more information and buy a practice test.
Other U.S. Government Departments
Many U.S. government departments and agencies also offer internships dealing with international issues in the U.S. or abroad . These agencies are also good sources of career positions. They often have decentralized application procedures. Contact these agencies directly for program details and applications.
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) works on behalf of the most generous people in the world to provide a better future for everyone by supporting agriculture and the environment; expanding education and training; fostering democracy and governance; advancing global health; promoting economic growth and trade; cultivating global partnerships; and providing humanitarian assistance.
- U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service. If you are interested in learning more about Intern and Co-op opportunities in International Trade Administration Headquarters in Washington, D.C., please call the Office of Personnel (202) 482-3301 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST.
- U.S. Department of Commerce, headquartered in Washington, D.C., houses agencies that deal with industry, trade, the environment, and economic growth and development. Because we live in a global environment that continues to grow smaller, careers in Commerce are diverse and include fields that affect all sectors of commerce, both traditional and new.
Opportunities for Women and Minorities
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation administers several scholarship and internship programs for which women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Most of these scholarships fund several years of study and include summer institutes and internships. Application deadlines may vary for each program from year to year, so check the website for details. Programs areas include teaching; foreign affairs; conservation; women and gender; religion and ethics; and access and opportunity.
The Institute for International Public Policy, administered by the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation, is designed to prepare minority students for careers in international affairs. Past internship placements have included the U.S. Department of State, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, General Motors Overseas Division, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the White House. The application deadline is usually in March. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.530.6232.
Women in International Security (WIIS) is a non-profit organization at Georgetown University with links to hundreds of other international educational, work and internship opportunities abroad. Most listings are with international organizations located in the United States, usually New York or Washington, D.C. Programs typically are not limited only to women.
Additional Experiential Learning Resources
AIESEC, a nonprofit, student-run organization that offers a work/exchange program. Over 5,000 students from 87 countries participated in full-time, paid business internships (lasting 2-18 months) last year.
International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) provides cross-cultural, on-the-job training exchanges for students majoring in engineering, computer science, mathematics, natural/physical sciences or architecture. You must have completed your sophomore year and be enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. college or university at the time of application. Student exchange programs for liberal arts majors also are available.
CDS International (CDS), founded in 1968, is a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of international practical training opportunities for young professionals, students, educators, as well as labor, business and government representatives. The organization offers training internships in Germany ranging from 3 to 18 months in business, engineering and technical fields. Proficiency in German language and U.S. citizenship required.
Eurointerns works on behalf of Spanish and international students to organize unpaid posts for gaining practical language and work experience in Spanish or French in companies and non-governmental organizations. It is operated by a team of Spanish university professors aware that second language acquisition and work experience will give their students an edge on the job market.
GoAbroad.com provides comprehensive international education and alternative travel databases using up-to-date and accurate information. In addition to some of the largest directories of their kind on the internet, GoAbroad.com provides extensive additional information within its dynamically constructed travel guides, currency converter, and embassy directories.
Transitions Abroad was created as the antidote to tourism with the specific goal of providing information that would enable travelers to actually meet the people of other countries, to learn about their culture, to speak their language, and to "transition" to a new level of understanding and appreciation for our fascinating world. The title was also meant to suggest the changes in our perspective that result from such immersion. Transitions Abroad is a major tool for students and independent travelers to find the timely facts they need — where to go, who to see, where to stay, how to get off the tour bus and go beyond the postcards. The website provides extensive information and links related to working, studying, traveling, living and volunteering around the world.