Top 6 Cities for Political Internships Abroad to Jumpstart Your Career

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As long as there have existed governments to speak of, diplomacy has been the bedrock of international politics. And within today’s interconnected world, diplomacy is more important than ever before, as actions in one corner of the planet can produce huge ramifications felt by the rest. Whether we like it or not, it falls on our generation to coordinate policies which ensure the wellbeing of the world.

Top 6 Cities for Political Internships Abroad to Jumpstart Your Career

Students and young professionals looking to launch their careers in government would do well to go out and get experience abroad. Interacting with other cultures is how we come to form a positive understanding of our own national identity, and how we familiarize ourselves within the international context which forms a background to it.

While making connections around the world, we sow the seeds of greater cooperation.

Political internships abroad are the perfect way to begin this journey of public service, gaining practical work experience while also touring the world and crystallizing your own political convictions. The opportunity to master a U.N. official language, paralleled with a placement working in a major global city, make each of these six cities the top places for political internships abroad.

Washington D.C., U.S.A

The White House lawn Washington D.C.
If you dream of sitting inside the Oval office, why not try and land government internships for college students IN the Oval office? Well– you’ll at least get a glance inside on your orientation tour.

Where better to lay political groundwork than in the capital city of the world’s most politically influential country? Washington D.C. is a major hub for think-tanks, government programs, universities, legal offices, NGO’s, and every other sort of organization that is tied to the political arena, making it rife with political internships for college students. Employers in D.C. are hungry for interns to help around the workplace, giving ambitious students, recent graduates, and other upstarts the opportunity to get their foot in the door

If you are a student from outside the United States, than an internship in Washington D.C. will be a whirlwind introduction to the world of American politics. From political science research internships with a world-renowned think tank to political campaign internships around midterms, you’ll get a full (sometimes not-so-pretty) picture of government and policy as an intern in D.C. As an added bonus, it is a great opportunity for second-language speakers to gain practice speaking English in a fast-paced environment. Even if you are from elsewhere within the United States, venturing to the capital for an internship is a can’t miss opportunity for anyone interested in politics.

Check out Global Experiences’ summer internships for political science majors in Washington D.C. to get an idea of what kind of opportunities are out there.

Santiago, Chile

Fountains outside a government in Santiago, Chile.
Brush up on your spanish while you brush elbows with government officials in Santiago, Chile.

Next on the list is Santiago, Chile, which is not only the capital and largest city of a model South American country; it also hosts the headquarters of the Economic  Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), making it the de-facto U.N. headquarters for the continent. For young professionals aspiring toward a career in politics, there is hardly a better place in all of Latin America to score political internships abroad.

Landing an internship in politics in Santiago is not just an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the most politically crucial city on the continent; it is also, as you have likely deduced, the opportunity to gain fluency in Spanish, which is another U.N. official language. Immersing yourself in Latin American culture, learning another language, getting entry-level experience in the field you’re passionate about – what’s not to like about political internships abroad in Santiago?

Start looking for the perfect political science internship abroad now with ISA Internships in Santiago.

Geneva, Switzerland

Lake Geneva in Switzerland
You don’t want to rock the political boat one way or the other, so an internship in the famously neutral Geneva, Switzerland is a perfect fit.

French is the third official U.N. language we’ll touch upon, and the city to master it with political internships abroad is undoubtedly Geneva. Sitting high up in the Alps, Geneva a hugely influential global city. Not only is it a central finance hub with major international reach, but it is also home to some of the most important U.N. agencies and other humanitarian organizations, such as the Red Cross. 

Switzerland is an infamously neutral nation, and Geneva is often referred to as the “Peace Capital” of the world. Many of the most important high level negotiations in international relations take place in Geneva, so it’s not a bad place to get a foot in the door with political internships for college students.

Check out Boston University’s Geneva internship program to get an idea of what kind of opportunities are available.

Moscow, Russia

Strolling the red square during political internships abroad in Moscow, Russia
Work with international organizations in Moscow to get a peek at politics in the Kremlin.

Now to switch gears. We’ve so far been covering Western cities, or at least cities in countries who actively promote the internationalist ideal embodied by the United Nations. Russia, for its unparalleled wealth of history, culture, and innovation, has for long been somewhat of a rogue within that system. That is exactly why it is so important for young, ambitious individuals to reach out an olive branch by way of international internships in politics in Russia.

Russian is the fourth official U.N. language we are on, and there’s no better place to combine its mastery with a political science internship than the capital city of Moscow. To be frank, it’s not all that likely that you’ll be offered a placement within the inner-sanctuary of the Kremlin. But, Moscow is still a major international city, and there are plenty of politically-oriented organizations that offer internships for political science majors from all over the world.

To get a start looking around, check out political science internships in Russia with ProfIntern.

Beijing, China 

Museums in Beijing, China
Explore East & West in the tradition of China

Like Russia, China has a closed government, and so the types of political internships for college students you may find here will likely be linked to an international organization, or else on the far-away peripheries of China’s communist party. Unlike Russia, however, China maintains a deep, multifaceted mutual engagement with the Western world, and is making a great global push to bring more English speakers into its fold.

There’s no sense beating around the bush; learning Mandarin, our fifth U.N. language, is a very difficult venture to take on. It will take years of study to gain a decent mastery of. Yet for fledgling speakers who are ready to take their language skills to the next level, or for introductory learners who want to sample the language during an English-speaking political internship abroad, China’s capital Beijing offers the perfect gateway into the monumental Eastern civilization.

Knowledge Must is a great place to begin looking for your dream political science internship in China. 

Rabat, Morocco 

Explore Rabat during internships for political science majors
Chat foreign policy over mint tea during your internship in Morocco.

Lastly, the sixth and final U.N. official language that you can learn simultaneously to undertaking political internships abroad is Arabic, and the place to learn Arabic is Morocco’s capital city of Rabat. Sitting on the country’s northern Atlantic seaboard, interning abroad in Rabat is the opportunity to challenge yourself within a rich cultural tradition

While Rabat may not be as politically influential to the global order as the other cities we’ve thus far covered, it is home to an array of important U.N. branches and all the foreign embassies in one of North Africa’s most influential nations, making it an enticing off-the-radar destination for political internships for college students. 

Check out World Endeavors to start learning about exciting international internships in politics based in Morocco.

How do you choose from the best cities for political internships abroad?

While making your decision, research thoroughly what kind of political internships for college students are available where, and then read reviews, reach out to alumni, and compare programs side-by-side using MyGoAbroad to decide which one is best for you.

A future in public service, no matter where you’re from, means you’ll be working with governments and people from around the world. Build up your cross-cultural competency by participating in political science internships abroad. You’ll be reaching a little further across the aisle, likely across entire oceans, but the skills and relationships you build will only serve you as you dedicate your life to serving others and jumpstart your career.

Give internships in politics a try! Find an internship abroad now.