Internship and Volunteer Opportunities
The UNESCO Office for the Pacific States based in Apia, Samoa is seeking qualified applicants interested in undertaking preferably a six month internship / volunteer program. Intern/volunteer projects will be negotiated between individuals and UNESCO to ensure a balance of benefits to both parties.
Interns can expect:
- To gain work experience in an international development agency
- To have opportunities to work with government and / or civil society in a developing country
- To be supervised and mentored by UNESCO staff
- To complete a project which can be used later in a portfolio or published
- Supervision and advice on work tasks
- Office space including computer and internet connectivity
- Assistance in locating suitable accommodation
Internships may be undertaken in two ways: through UNESCO’s global internship program open to enrolled post-graduate students, or through direct application to the Apia Field Office for volunteer interns not affiliated with a program of further study.
Please note that under both programs interns must fully cover their own costs, including appropriate health insurance. Applicants with support from a university of national institution are welcome.
UNESCO encourages applications from suitably qualified Pacific Islanders.
The qualifications which will be considered in the application process include, but are not limited to, the following. The ideal candidate:
- is currently pursuing or has recently completed postgraduate studies (Bachelor’s or Master’s) (Applicable to global internship programme only), preferably in a field related to the UNESCO priority areas as set forth in its Strategic Plan
- good command of written and spoken English
- has excellent research, writing and analytical skills
- can establish and maintain effective working relations with people from diverse backgrounds
- demonstrates resourcefulness and creativity in problem-solving
- has excellent computer skills: sound, hands-on, knowledge of standard office software (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.)
- has a demonstrated interest in the work of the United Nations and more specifically, in the work of the UNESCO.
Internship Application Procedure
The application process is conducted in two stages. Instructions for each stage are detailed below. In principle, a candidate may submit an application at any time indicating the preferred working area or by responding to a specific internship vacancy announcement of UNESCO.
The first stage of the application process is designed to measure the applicant’s motivation and background and assess how the applicant’s qualifications meet the criteria for selection. Stage 1 requires submission of the documents listed below:
(1) Global Internship Application Form
Please complete the application form at
On the application form, indicate or select the UNESCO office where you want to Work e.g. Apia Field Office and print out form.
(2) Volunteer Intern Application Procedure:
In addition, prepare the following for submission (Volunteer Application Programme)
Cover letter: Address your letter to the attention of the admin. Your cover letter should include the following:
- your motivation for applying
- how you feel you may contribute to the work being done at UNESCO
- how this programme relates to your future career goals.
Curriculum Vitae: Provide detailed descriptions of education history, work history and leadership or extracurricular activities. Use your CV to present, in further detail, the education and work history listed in the application form. It is recommended to fill in the UNESCO CV template which can be provided on request.
Two letters of recommendation: Arrange for two letters of recommendation from referees who are familiar with your character and who have agreed to write a recommendation on your behalf. UNESCO reserves the right to contact your referees. Certain candidates may have difficulty obtaining academic references and it may be more appropriate to get references from professionals or supervisors. Referees should not be family members or friends.
How to Submit
All documents listed for the Volunteer Intern programme should be submitted together by the applicant by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- (with the subject line “Volunteer Application – (Applicant’s Name)”). Attach the application form, your cover letter, CV, reference letters and language certification (where applicable).
The second stage consists of a face-to-face (where applicable), telephone or skype interview which will be arranged in advance with each short-listed applicant and preparation of an internship proposal. The purpose of the interview is to help the Internship Committee better understand the applicant’s motivations, expectations, and goals vis-à-vis participation in the Internship Programme at UNESCO. The interview will also assess the applicant’s communication skills, interpersonal skills and proficiency in English. A short proposal/summary of intended work at UNESCO or previous related work may be required. Further details and an appointment schedule will be provided at the closing of Stage 2.
Successful applicants will be required to sign an Internship Agreement, which will act as the working contract between the intern and UNESCO for the duration of the internship. This form will be emailed to those selected to join the programme. A signed and dated form must be returned to the Internship Coordinator in order for the application to be complete. Once completed, selected applicants residing outside Samoa will begin their application for a Samoan Visa..