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UN GeneralUnited Nations Language Internship

The Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) provides opportunities for students aspiring to work in the language professions to serve on internships hosted by the Department’s language services at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as well as in the other three duty stations (Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi). The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) also hosts interns from universities in its region. The programme offers interns an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the specific features and requirements of the United Nations language services. Owing to resource limitations, such internships are normally offered to students enrolled in those institutions with which the United Nations has signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the training of candidates for language competitive examinations (MoU universities). 

The objective of the Language Internship Programme is threefold:

• To provide a framework within which undergraduate and graduate students from diverse academic backgrounds may be assigned to DGACM Language Services, where their educational experience can be enhanced through top-up training and practical work assignments;
• To expose interns to the work of the United Nations;
• To provide language services with the assistance of highly qualified interns specializing in conference interpretation and translation.

Starting from 2012, the Department offers the programme twice a year (winter and summer) for two months.

Conditions for admittance to the Programme:

• Interns are unpaid. They are expected to arrange for their own accommodation. The Organization does not provide any rental subsidy.

• Interns are personally responsible for obtaining the necessary visa and making their travel arrangements.

• The United Nations accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance of the intern or costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during an internship.

• Interns normally will be given a desk, a telephone and computer access.

• Each intern is required, upon acceptance, to provide the following documentation: (a) a signed acceptance letter and an internship agreement; (b) proof of enrolment in a graduate or undergraduate programme, or proof of recent graduation (less than 12 months); (c) proof of valid health insurance coverage; and (d) a medical certificate of good health.

• At the conclusion of the internship, the supervisor will arrange a meeting with the intern to provide constructive feedback on performance. A specific form will be distributed to interns in their final weeks which may be used for this purpose. A certificate of completion of the internship is delivered to interns whose attendance and performance are deemed satisfactory by their supervisor.

• The internship is on a full-time basis with working hours from 9am to 5pm, 5 days per week.

• The DGACM Training and Outreach Team organizes group training sessions for the interns, where speakers from various UN offices provide them with information about the UN and its work. A group photo opportunity with the Secretary-General may also be organized.

• Upon arrival at the duty station, each intern is delivered a ground pass allowing access to the premises where the intern is assigned.

• Interns are required to complete two online courses on “Integrity Awareness” and “Prevention of workplace harassment, sexual harassment and abuse of authority”.

• At the conclusion of the internship trainees may be offered to take a freelance test in their specialization. Successful candidates will be recommended for a freelance roster in the relevant occupational group.

• Interns are encouraged to attend meetings and conferences at the United Nations in order to broaden their exposure to the work of the Organization.

For additional inquiries, please visit:

Updated: 9 April 2013 / Oyuna Tsogt

Language professional



4. How many offers of appointment may successful candidates decline without being removed from the roster?
A:more than five
B:only one
C:as many as the candidate likes
BUnited Nations Language Competitive Examinationswho declines two offers