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Internship Program

Situated on Capitol Hill, USAI internships give students a unique opportunity to experience international affairs

The US-Asia Institute (USAI) is a United Nations-associated non-governmental organization located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Our mission is to encourage dialogue and understanding between the people and governments of the United States and nations of Asia.

Since its inception in 1979, USAI has hosted an internship program for students who are interested in Asian affairs. The Institute selects two to four undergraduates, recent graduates, or graduate students during the summer, winter/spring, and fall terms. The duration of the internship is approximately two to three months, with the possibility of extension. Internships are unpaid.

The USAI Internship Program gives students a unique opportunity for hands-on experience in the field of U.S.-Asian affairs. Throughout the internship, students will play an active role in organizing educational programming, overseas Congressional staff delegations, forums, receptions, and diplomatic off-the-record briefings. Students will also be expected to represent the Institute at Congressional hearings, think-tank briefings, and other networking events in the D.C. area.

The intent of USAI internships is to supplement academic scholarship with a pragmatic program that deals with the realities of the political process in international policy development.

Featured above, Fall 2017 interns tour the Capitol.


Job Descriptions & Qualifications

USAI seeks highly motivated undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students with a strong interest in U.S.-Asia relations. We seek individuals possessing strong writing, organizational, and communication skills.

To apply for our internship program, please submit your resume, a cover letter detailing when you are available to intern at the Institute, a plan of objectives, a brief description of your future academic and professional goals, and a short writing sample (1-4 pages).

Foreign applicants are encouraged to apply for internships. Appropriate required visa is the responsibility of individual applicants.

In the image above, 2015 Summer Interns attend the US-Asia Institute's annual reception with the Mongolian Embassy.

Political Affairs Intern:

The main responsibilities of the Political Affairs Intern will be organizing events and Congressional delegations to Asia and assisting with the daily operations of the office. Other responsibilities include representing USAI at briefings and congressional hearings and corresponding with legislative staff, as well as researching and writing reports on current issues related to U.S.-Asia relations.

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, as demonstrated in the phone interview and the cover letter/writing sample
  • Excellent organizational skills and proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Self-motivated and independent
  • Familiarity with various Asian countries through academic studies or professional experiences strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of another East Asian or Southeast Asian language a plus
  • Excellent research and writing skills

Communications Intern:

Responsibilities: The Communications Intern will be responsible for managing the website, exploring and expanding on the Institute’s social media presence, producing brochures and newsletters, as well as assisting with the daily operations of the office. The intern will also work closely with the Political Affairs Intern in attending meetings, organizing events, seeking grants, and corresponding with Hill staff.

  • Background and experience in website management and design
  • Familiarity working with WordPress
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • Experience with different social media platforms
  • Execellent writing and organizational skills
  • Familiarity with various Asian countries through academic studies or professional experiences strongly preferred

Rule of Law Intern:

(Available during the summer term, only when advertised)
Duties: The Rule of Law Intern will manage the USAI Rule of Law Program. This involves corresponding with legislative staff, scheduling meetings, acting as the liaison between Chinese Fellows and American policymakers.

  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Professionalism and strong time management skills
  • Experience managing a team
  • Command of Chinese and American cultures
  • Command of Mandarin (Preferred)

Internship Periods and Application Deadlines

While the dates for the internships’ duration are somewhat flexible, the deadlines are not. You are welcome to apply to all internship positions at your personal discretion.

Winter/Spring Term: January 10 – May 10
Deadline: November 1

Summer Term: May 15 – August 15
Deadline: April 1

Fall Term: September 1 – December 10
Deadline: July 1

Please send your application materials (cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample) to the following address, and please allow 2-3 weeks after the deadline for us to review your application.

Internship Coordinator Madeline Clough, US-Asia Institute 232 East Capitol Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20003

If you prefer to fax or e-mail your application, please use the information below:

Fax: (202) 747-5889 E-mail: madeline.clough@usasiainstitute.org

**NOTE: International students must have a student visa throughout the entirety of their internship at the US-Asia Institute**