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Internships at UNESCO: A How to Guide

by Minoas Vitalis
Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’re interested in interning at UNESCO, you’ll need to know what the process is like. In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to do in order to intern at UNESCO. We’ll also provide some tips on how to make the most of your experience. But first what is UNESCO?

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that works to promote international collaboration through education, science, and culture. UNESCO’s headquarters are in Paris, France. UNESCO was founded on 16 November 1945. It has 193 Members and 11 Associate Members. It was founded because of the belief that peace and security in the world can only be achieved if we promote collaboration among nations.

Some of the actions of UNESCO focus on:

  • Promoting education for all and supporting international cooperation in education
  • Support Member States in measuring their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Fostering cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue
  • Protecting heritage and promoting creativity
  • Advancing scientific cooperation and coordinating research on global issues.

What are the eligibility requirements?

In order to intern at UNESCO, you must:

  • Be at least 20 years old to apply
  • Are enrolled in a graduate programme or have recently graduated  from one (within the last 12 months). Please note that if you have completed your studies but you are enrolled at the moment in a graduate programme, you will not be able to apply
  • Have a good command of either written and spoken English or French. You should also demonstrate a commitment to improving your language level in the other language. Other languages would be an asset
  • You must have enrolled and be in your last year of secretarial school if you’re applying for administration internships
  • Be available to work full-time for the duration of the internship 
  • Have Excellent Computer Skills
  • Have teamwork skills and the ability to work independently
  • Be able to take initiative, be proactive and show flexibility
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Willingness to learn new things.

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, the next step is to fill out an online application. The application will ask you for basic information about yourself, your education, and your work experience. You will also be asked to submit your Cover Letter detailing your motivation for interning at UNESCO and your CV. Once you have submitted your application, you will be contacted if you are selected for an interview.

If you’re selected for an interview, congratulations! This is your chance to show UNESCO why you’re the perfect candidate for the internship. Be prepared to answer questions about your skill set, interests, and motivation for interning at UNESCO.

If you’re successful in securing an internship at UNESCO, congrats! You’ll be embarking on an incredible journey that will no doubt be enriching and rewarding. If you’re not, don’t worry, there are plenty of other internships out there. The most important thing is that you don’t give up on your dreams.

Why should you intern at UNESCO?

For starters, UNESCO is at the forefront of international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. With internships spanning a vast array of fields, you’re bound to find an area that interests you.

Not only will you gain valuable work experience, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about other cultures and make friends from all over the world. interning at UNESCO is a great way to start your career in international relations.

Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why interning at UNESCO is a great idea:

  1. You’ll get to work on fascinating projects.
  2. You’ll learn about different cultures and gain new perspectives.
  3. You’ll build your professional network.
  4. You’ll improve your language skills.
  5. And last but not least, you’ll have an incredible experience that you’ll never forget!

So what are you waiting for? Start your search for internships at UNESCO today!

Good things to know before you submit your application

There are a few things you should keep in mind before you submit your application to intern at UNESCO.

  1. You should be available to intern for at least one month. The maximum duration for an internship is six months.
  2. The internships are unfortunately unpaid. UNESCO does not provide any kind of financial support or allowance.
  3. If you need Visas, it’s up to you to obtain them.
  4. Make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements. If you don’t, your application will likely be rejected.
  5. Your CV is your chance to shine. Make sure it’s up-to-date and includes all relevant experience, skills, and education.
  6. Don’t forget to include a Cover Letter! This is your chance to explain why you want to intern at UNESCO and what you can bring to the organization.
  7. Be prepared for your interview. UNESCO is looking for candidates who are knowledgeable, committed, and passionate. Show them that you’re the right person for the job!
  8. You are responsible for arranging and financing your accommodation and traveling plans. UNESCO will not assist you in that area.
  9. You must provide evidence of your own comprehensive medical insurance before you begin your internship. It must be valid for the entire duration of your work experience and be valid in the country you are going to be working in.
  10. You must submit a medical certificate stating you are in good health and have no limitations that would impede your ability to complete an internship. 
  11. You must provide your identification document, such as a passport or national ID card before you begin your internship.
  12. You are entitled to 2.5 days of leave per month worked.
  13. Your first month is probationary. If all goes well, you will be confirmed for the rest of your internship.
  14. You are allowed to submit only one application.
  15. If you do not hear back from UNESCO within six months, unfortunately you have not been selected.
  16. You only have one hour to apply when you begin the process. So, make sure you have your CV and Cover Letter ready before you begin.

Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to start your application!

Skills you need to be successful in the internship application process:

  1. Research UNESCO’s internships thoroughly to make sure you are a good fit for the program.
  2. Be proficient in the language of the internship you are applying for.
  3. Have a strong academic record. UNESCO is looking for intern candidates who have excelled in their studies.
  4. Demonstrate leadership qualities and a commitment to UNESCO’s values.
  5. Be proactive and take initiative in your intern application process by reaching out to the organization and expressing your interest in the program.
  6. Be flexible and adaptable, as internships at UNESCO can be located in a variety of different countries and working conditions can vary.
  7. Have excellent communication skills, as internships at UNESCO will often involve working with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
  8. Be able to work independently as well as part of a team.
  9. Be organized and efficient in your work. 
  10. Be willing to intern for a minimum of one months. UNESCO internships are typically six months maximum in duration.

If you have the skills and qualities listed above, then you are well on your way to being a successful intern at UNESCO! Just remember to do your research, stay organized, and be proactive throughout the application process, and you will be sure to land an internship that is the perfect fit for you.


Internships at UNESCO can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the organization. The process is competitive, but if you are selected, it can be a great experience. Be sure to research the organization and the program before applying, and brush up on your skills in order to make the most of your time there. Good luck!

Minoas graduated with a Merit upon studying the full-time MPA Public Administration – International Development degree (MPA-ID) at the University of York. He is currently working as a freelance EU affairs consultant in Belgium.
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