The WTO Secretariat maintains a variety of internship programs for post-graduate students. Internship selections are based on merit, taking into account eligibility criteria, academic qualifications, and expertise.
There are three internship programs at the WTO. (1) The WTO Internship Programme is open to post-graduate students from all WTO members and countries or customs territories engaged in accession negotiations; (2) The China LDC and Accessions Programme (also known as the China WTO Accession Internship Programme); and (3) the WTO Support Programme for Doctoral Studies. Both (2) and (3) are reserved for post-graduate students from developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs).
The WTO Internship Programme provides an opportunity for post-graduate students from WTO member and observer countries to gain valuable experience from working at the WTO.
Assignments given to interns are intended to enhance the individual’s understanding of the WTO and of trade policy more generally. However, internships include opportunities in other specialist areas, such as finance, human resources, language services, IT and communications. The division to which the intern is assigned determines the precise nature of the work to be undertaken. Many interns work in the following areas:
Information about the responsibilities of the WTO’s divisions is available here.
Up to a maximum of six months.
Interns receive a daily allowance of CHF 60 (including weekends and official holidays falling within the selected period). Travel expenses to and from Geneva cannot be paid by the WTO, and such travel is not covered by the Organization’s insurance.
Medical health insurance coverage is mandatory in Switzerland, and interns are responsible for organizing their own health insurance prior to commencing their internship at the WTO.
A candidate must:
- be a national of a WTO member state or a country or customs territory engaged in accession negotiations
- have completed his/her undergraduate studies in a relevant discipline and have completed at least one year of his/her postgraduate studies
- be at least 21 years old and a maximum of 30 years old during the internship.
How to apply
Candidates should submit their applications through the WTO external jobs platform and only candidates selected for an interview are contacted. The system provides instructions for online application procedures. A roster of suitable candidates is maintained from which interns are selected. Suitable applications are maintained on the roster for one year.
Intake to the WTO Internship Programme is on an ongoing basis, with no specific recruitment period. However, there may be specific vacancy notices for internship positions requiring particular qualifications and skillsets published on the WTO’s e-Recruitment website.
The granting of an internship does not entail the right to a vacancy in another part of the Secretariat. Interns may nevertheless apply for any external vacancies.