Advancing disability rights and leadership globally®

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

Young man passes through a wooden door to a courtyard
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.


Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship

Interested in a career serving U.S. interests abroad? The Pickering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world. Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers, serving in Washington, DC or at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe. The Program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship

This provides a pathway to the USAID Foreign Service and provides up to $96,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships and professional development activities. It encourages the application of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in the Foreign Service as well as those with financial need.

Virtual Student Federal 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 Federal Service (VSFS), formerly the Virtual Student Foreign Service program. 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 have included Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and others.

“I did the 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:

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