Get Your Foot in the Door for a Career in International Education

Young man passes through a wooden door to a courtyard
Opportunities abound for entering a career in international education, foreign affairs, and other global fields! Here are just a few examples of entry-level jobs and internships that will build your global competency.

Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs Internship Program

USICD's summer internship program is an exciting opportunity for U.S. students and recent graduates with disabilities who aspire to careers in foreign affairs or international development. Participants from across the U.S. travel to Washington, DC, for nine weeks for training and internships with area organizations. Past internship placements have included World Learning, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the U.S. Department of State, among others.

USICD will cover the cost of accessible housing during the program, reimburse travel expenses to and from DC, and provide a limited stipend.

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

Since 2002, the AAPD Summer Internship Program has developed the next generation of leaders with disabilities and offered host employers access to a talented, diverse workforce. Each summer, AAPD places college students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in summer internships with Congressional offices, federal agencies, non-profits, and for-profit organizations in the Washington, DC area. Each intern is matched with a mentor who will assist them with their career goals.

AAPD provides the interns with a living stipend, transportation to and from Washington, DC, and fully-accessible housing.

Virtual Student Foreign Service Program

U.S. college students make a real difference in the work of the U.S. government and one of these ways is through the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS). Since 2009, thousands of eInterns (U.S. college students working remotely) including interns with disabilities have expanded the reach of U.S. government efforts around the world. Participating government agencies include Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and others.

"I did the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) internship twice during my graduate school program. I wanted to increase my exposure to internationally-related government agencies for future career prospects and also knew that my previous personal and professional experience related to disability may put me at an advantage in several projects. I am very interested in other country perspectives on disability and ability and access."

- Jamie Rau, a person with a disability and an alum of the VSFS program

EducationUSA Internships Abroad

EducationUSA helps promote study abroad opportunities for U.S. students, who can prepare for leadership roles in today's globalized world through an international education. Through its internship program, U.S. students can spend time at overseas EducationUSA Advising Centers or virtually to meet and share experiences with prospective foreign students.

U.S. Department of State Student Programs

There are many student programs available at the U.S. Department of State for those currently pursuing high school, college, or post graduate degrees. This is your chance to support and gain insight into U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy, explore new career avenues and acquire lifelong skills.

MIUSA Internships

MIUSA internship programs are designed to increase the skills, leadership and experience of emerging professionals with and without disabilities. Past interns have assisted with projects related to inclusive international education, including interviewing exchange alumni with disabilities, surveying international exchange professionals, creating campaigns to encourage people with disabilities to go abroad, and welcoming visiting international delegates with disabilities on inclusive leadership exchange programs.

"I became interested in pursuing work at an international exchange organization after I interned at MIUSA. I realized how much fun and exciting it is to work in international exchange and how many amazing people I would get to meet." - Stephanie Collins, former MIUSA intern

More Organizations That Offer International Careers

The following organizations, all members of the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange's Roundtable Consortium, connect Americans with their counterparts around the world through a myriad of international exchange programs, either inbound and outbound. Peruse their employment pages to find out what kinds of skills and qualities are in the greatest demand - and maybe even apply for your dream job!

Professional Associations

Network with seasoned international education professionals, explore careers, and keep up with emerging trends in the field through these and other member-based organizations:

Summer Internship Fund

Did you find your dream internship, but still looking for funding to make it a reality? The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law funds a disabled student to work full-time for a non-profit of their choice for 10 weeks during the summer as part of the Alexis Schey Summer Internship Fund. Find details about the fund here, then contact the center to request a current application.