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UN-Habitat Internships

Internship Programs

UN-Habitat Internships

Unpaid Internships

The goal of the UN-Habitat Internship Program is to provide those interested in international development with a practical understanding of the agency’s work and mission in promoting sustainable urban development that is accessible to all. Hence, throughout the internship, it will be possible for interns to participate in the day-to-day activities of the organization, working directly with qualified professionals, in a stimulating environment where they will be able to develop professional and academic skills.


In pursuit of its mission, the OpenIGO network has prepared a comprehensive eBook and support and guidance services, with the aim of highly increasing your chances of success in these competitive processes. These services include revising your UN internships application documents (curriculum vitae/resume and cover letter) and a mock interview, as per the United Nations model. We also offer a range of packages that combine the eBook with different services.


UN Internships – Products & Services

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UN Internships – PDF eBook 

UN-Habitat Overview

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is a specialized UN agency that has as its mission the promotion of an urban, social and environmentally sustainable development, guaranteeing suitable housing for all. Headquartered in Nairobi (Kenya), the agency works in collaboration with governments and private sector organizations and has about 2400 employees.

UN-Habitat’s main focus: Promoting urban, social and environmentally sustainable development.

Themes addressed by the UN-Habitat:

  • Land
  • Governance
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Energy
  • Mobility
  • Safety
  • Housing
  • Reconstruction
  • Resilience
  • Energy

Description of the UN-Habitat Internship

What are the fields of study required for the UN-Habitat Internship?

This internship program includes students and recent graduates from the most diverse fields of knowledge. The areas of study with the highest demand in this program are:

  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies
  • International Relations

What are the tasks performed by the selected for the UN-Habitat Internship?

The activities performed vary according to the opening and the requirements of the different departments to which interns are allocated. However, generally speaking, the main duties are:

  • Provide support to the working team;
  • Draft reports and other types of documents;
  • Provide assistance and take part in internal and external meetings. Such activities involve preparation so as to contribute in the meetings, schedule organization, logistical support, among other things;
  • Carry out research on specific topics;
  • Perform other types of activities when assigned.

What is the duration of the UN-Habitat Internship?

The internship period ranges from at least 2 months to up to 6 months at most.

What is the weekly workload of the UN-Habitat Internship?

The internship programs are full-time. Interns shall therefore work between 35 and 40 hours per week.

Where are the locations of the UN-Habitat Internship?

  • Nairobi, Kenya (headquarters/regional office for Africa)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean)
  • Fukuoka, Japan (regional office for Asia and the Pacific)
  • Cairo, Egypt (regional office for Arab States)

When does the UN-Habitat Internship start?

The initial date of the internship shall be coordinated between the intern and the organization.

Is there any feedback following the completion of the UN-Habitat Internship?

At the end of the internship, the supervisor is in charge of preparing an assessment report of the intern’s performance.

Subsequent employment:

Participation in the internship is not related to future employment with the agency. During the internship period and within six months immediately after the program you will not be eligible to apply for or be appointed to any effective position. However, the work experience in the agency will be a distinctive feature in your curriculum, which may facilitate your hiring by other organizations inside or outside the UN System.

UN-Habitat Internship - Salary

The internship is unpaid.

UN-Habitat Internship - Requirements

What is the education requirement of the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school program (Master’s or PhD), or;
  • Be enrolled in the last school year of an undergraduate school program (Bachelor’s level  or equivalent), or;
  • Have graduated from an undergraduate or graduate course in the last 12 months.

What is the language requirement of the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

Candidates must be proficient in English or French. Knowledge of Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish may be an advantage in the selection process.

What is the age requirement of the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of enrollment.

What is the nationality requirement of the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

There is no nationality restriction.

What are the competencies required for the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

The main competencies required are: communication, teamwork and client orientation.

Other requirements:

Most internships require no work experience. However, previous experiences may be an advantage in the selection process.

What are the restrictions of the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

  • An applicant may not be a child or sibling of any organization staff member;
  • You must be discreet and keep confidential any and all unpublished information obtained during the course of the internship and may not publish any documents based on such information.

UN-Habitat Internship - Application process

When to apply for the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

Application deadlines vary depending on the openings and the needs of the organization. Therefore, it is important to search for internship opportunities on our website and social media platforms.

How to apply for the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

The application process is done via the UN Careers portal, where all openings are published. The application must be done on the Inspira Gateway and comprises the following steps:

  1. Search for internship openings;
  2. Register with the Inspira portal;
  3. Fill out the profile data;
  4. Fill out the application form;
  5. Submit the application.

What are the phases of the selection process for the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

The selection process may vary depending on the department or office to which the intern is applying, but generally comprises the following steps:

  1. Creating a profile and preparing an application;
  2. Submitting the application;
  3. Evaluation of the application;
  4. Competency-based interview;
  5. Selection notifications.

How is the UN-Habitat Internship Program interview?

Usually, only selected applicants will be contacted for the interview, which lasts about 30 minutes and may be done via Skype or phone. The main points covered in the interview vary according to the opening and department chosen. In general, however, the questions address subjective or behavioral aspects, such as your expectations about the job, your interests in the area of expertise you are applying for and your previous experiences.

What are the documents to submit for the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

The application process also requires you to submit:

  • Cover Note and Personal History Profile;
  • Internship agreement for the United Nations signed by you;
  • Proof of enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program.

What is the evaluation criteria of the UN-Habitat Internship Program?

You will be evaluated regarding your previous experience, skills and competencies, and educational background.

Other information:

  • It is important to submit your application in advance. Internship openings at UN Careers are removed from the portal at midnight of the deadline, New York time (GMT-5). You will not be able to modify your application after submission.
  • You may get academic credit from your institution of higher education for the internship. Check with your university to confirm their academic credit policy for internships.

UN-Habitat Internship - Costs

The agency offers no financial aid to cover costs related to preparing for or doing the internship. However, you may request financial aid from a sponsoring institution, for example, a university and/or government agency in your country.


You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs and arrangements of obtaining the visa (if needed to do the internship).


You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs of enrolling in a valid global medical insurance plan. It is necessary to have a Medical Certificate of Good Health.


You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for accommodation expenses during the internship period.


You or your sponsoring institution will be responsible for the costs and arrangements of the trip to the workplace to which you have been assigned.

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