U.S. Government Foreign Service Opportunities

Information on the following opportunities is available from the International Center and the U-M Career Center.

U-M Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building

Careers and Internships

Below is a list of international career and internship opportunities for students looking to work with the U.S. government.

U.S. Department of State Internships

U.S. Department of State internships 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. Students have arranged for credit by means of independent study with U-M professors.

Eligibility: U.S. citizens who are undergraduates (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 (U-M's Winter Term) internships. If you're a U-M student, the U-M International Center can put you in touch with other U-M students who have had these internships for help with applications and answering questions.

The application may only be submitted online. Allow yourself plenty of time to order transcripts, research the bureau you choose to apply to, and to write a statement of interest.

U.S. Foreign Service Career Positions

Foreign Service Officers work for the U.S. Department of State in U.S. embassies around the world and occasionally in Washington, D.C. To apply, you must take the Foreign Service Exam. The U.S.Department of State also has career positions as Foreign Service Specialists, which do not require the Foreign Service Exam, in areas such as Information Technology.

  • Foreign Service Exam Information
    • The Foreign Service exam is given three times a year near Ann Arbor
    • The exam is free
    • Most people take it more than once to pass
    • Only the highest score counts
      • Sections include a section on international and U.S. job-related knowledge, biographic information questionnaire section, a test of English expression and usage, and an essay to test general writing skills
    • To register and obtain more information about the process, visit www.careers.state.gov

Eligibility: U.S. citizens at least 20 years of age on the date of the examination, who are willing to be assigned anywhere worldwide.

Other U.S. Government Departments

Many U.S. government departments and agencies also offer internships and career opportunities in the U.S. and abroad dealing with international issues. They often have decentralized application procedures. Contact these agencies directly for program details and applications.

U.S. Peace Corps

Grassroot development projects in over 90 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Unlike the U.S. Department of State, Peace Corps members live and work with ordinary local people. Peace Corps pays all expenses plus over $7,000 resettlement allowance at the end of service. Full training and support is provided. Educational loans can be deferred and some partially canceled. Some tuition support is available for later graduate study.

Eligibility: U.S. citizens only. Generally for those with at least a bachelor's degree; two-year commitment.

Visit the U-M Peace Corps Office in the U-M International Center, 734.467-2182, [email protected].

If you're not in the Ann Arbor area, contact the headquarters at: U.S. Peace Corps 800.424.8580.

Woodrow Wilson Foundation

  • Thomas R. Pickering scholarship/internship program
    • Funds several years of study including summer internships and institutes.
    • Applicants may apply as sophomores (for three-year scholarships) or as seniors (for graduate school scholarships, for a shorter period of time).
  • Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program.
    • Scholarship for students interested in careers in diplomacy with the U.S. Department of State, leading to a master’s degree and a position with the State Department.

For the most up-to-date information and applications, visit Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Program in International Affairs and Public Policy

Institude for International Public Policy

This program, administered by the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation, is designed to prepare underrepresented minority students for careers in international affairs.

Financial Support for Overseas Internships

See Funding Undergraduate and Graduate International Internships for more information.