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Duration/Length of UN Internships: how long do UN internships last?

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Duration/Length of UN Internships: how long do UN internships last?

March 26, 2020


UN Internships DurationUN Internships Duration

Be selected for a UN Internship Program is a dream for many! Understandably, since working at the UN combines prestigious and a wide range of benefits with meaningful work that can help billions of people around the world. In addition, interning at the UN means developing a global career with a global reach, in a multicultural and pleasant environment; you will be able to construct influential networks and receive encouragement to develop professionally.

In this article, we will take a look at the duration/length of UN System Internships

In pursuit of its mission, the OpenIGO network has prepared a comprehensive eBook (available soon) 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

How long do UN Internships Last?

Have you asked about the minimum and maximum duration/length of a UN System internship? Or if it is possible to extend it? In principle, the answers to these questions are not simple, since there are many specific features within the various programs and internship vacancies. However, the following information seeks to clarify these doubts, through examples and estimates.

In relation to the minimum time allowed, various agencies accept candidates who would like to take an internship for one month, or a little longer, such as IFAD, WIPO, UNDP, WHO and UNICEF, among others. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) internship program, which focuses on complementing Master`s or doctorate research, accepts candidates who would like to work for between two and four weeks, being one of the shortest programs within the UN System agencies. However, this program is different to the others, since it focuses exclusively on research.

Most internships run for six months. In many cases, these opportunities may be renewed for an equal period, although this is not a general rule. Longer internship opportunities run for one year. Extending the maximum internship limit only takes place if there is a need at the agency/work unit in which the individual is allocated, and if there is no impediment from your university or government.

It should be emphasized that if an intern`s performance is below that expected by the organization, it may be ended early. In these cases, the agency has the duty to notify the intern about their dismissal from the program in advance.

In the table below, we present an estimate of the duration of the internships at the main UN System organizations, according to official sites.

Average duration of UN System internships
DurationAgencies
2 WEEKS-2 MONTHSIMO
4-10 WEEKSIFC
1-3 MONTHSICSID
WB
1-6 MONTHSIFAD
ITU
WIPO
UNWTO
WTO
UNF
JIU
6 WEEKS-3 MONTHSUNAIDS
6 WEEKS-5 MONTHSGAVI ALLIANCE
6 WEEKS-6 MONTHSUNDP
WHO
UNICEF
2-4 MONTHSUNFCCC
2-6 MONTHSICAO
IOM
UNISDR
UN WOMEN
UNFPA
UN SECRETARIAT
UNCTAD
UNESCO
UNEP
UN-HABITAT
UNODC
UNHCR
UPU
2-8 MONTHSWFP
INTRACEN
10 WEEKS-3 MONTHSIMF
3-6 MONTHSFAO
ILO
OPCW
UNIDO
UNOPS
UNSCC
ICC
3-11 MONTHSUNRWA
3-12 MONTHSIAEA
CTBTO

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