Internships, Fellowships, Careers with the U.S. Department of State

U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program

A two-summer international affairs experiential learning program

Application Cycle Opens: Tuesday, August 25 to Monday, September 7, 2020


Background: Established in 2014, the U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program (USFSIP) is a merit and need-based opportunity that offers two paid summer internships to expose undergraduate students to U.S. diplomacy and the Department of State at large.

Overview: USFSIP consists of participation for two consecutive summers. In the first summer (2021), participants come to Washington, D.C. for three weeks of training including: U.S. diplomatic history, Department writing, and professional development. Following the training, interns work for seven weeks on policy desks in regional and functional bureaus at State. The second summer (2022) is a ten-week assignment to a U.S. embassy overseas. In the intervening year, USFSIP interns must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA and take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) to gain a better understanding of the Foreign Service assessment process.

Eligibility: Students must be U.S. citizens, currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program with a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or above. Students must be rising juniors or seniors when they start the program (i.e., in their sophomore or junior year when applying). Students must be able to obtain a Secret security clearance and be available to participate in Summer I program dates of June 8 – August 13, 2021.

Benefits: Students are paid for their time at a GS-4 equivalent. The U.S. Department of State provides travel reimbursement and housing assistance for both summers. Students also receive additional training through the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and further mentoring from experienced State Department personnel.

Recruiting: We encourage potential applicants to connect with their local Diplomat in Residence (DIR) or Washington Based Recruiter to discuss their interest in this program or others along with Department careers. You can find your local DIR here:

Selection: A multi-level selection process will be conducted to select new interns. Demonstrated financial need/adversity and merit are key factors in the selection process. Other selection criteria are tied to the following dimensions sought in Foreign Service candidates: Cultural Adaptability; Information Integration and Analysis; Initiative and Leadership; Judgment; Oral Communication; Written Communication; Planning and Organizing; Working with Others.

How to apply: Students will submit an online application via USAJOBS that includes a statement of interest, statement of financial need/adversity, short essays, current academic transcripts, and a PDF copy of their FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) if applicable.
The U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program is not a job program. It consists of two temporary appointments for experiential learning. USFSIP is NOT a Pathways program for paid students and recent graduate trainees.

By Dawn Cheung
Dawn Cheung Career Coach