FAQ: What Interns Can Expect if Selected into USICD's Internship Program

FAQ: What Interns Can Expect if Selected into USICD's Internship Program

FAQ: What Interns Can Expect if Selected into USICD's Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program

Q. What is the start and end date for this program?

A. In 2017, we anticipate that the program will run from May 28 to July 29, 2017, though these dates are subject to change.  Interns would be expected to remain in Washington DC during the nine weeks of the internship program, with the first week being dedicated to training and orientation for our group of interns.  The following eight weeks will be dedicated to the individual internships.  Each intern will be placed with a non-governmental (non-profit) or governmental organization based in the Washington, DC, area.  Additional workshops and lectures for all  interns will also occur during the internship.

Q. Would I be working at USICD's office?

A. No. Usually our interns are placed at various other international organizations in DC. In the first four years of the program, we placed a total of 24 interns at 17 host organizations.

Q. Would it be possible to complete my internship in some city other than Washington, DC?

A. No. All participants in our internship program are expected to be in DC for nine weeks from May 28 to July 29, 2017. However, some major organizations with headquarter offices in other cities sometimes have a small satellite office in DC. In a few cases, we have been able to place interns with DC offices for some of these organizations.

Q. I have a scheduling conflict with your program.  Would it be all right for me to miss the training and orientation program but still do the eight-week internship?

A. The training and orientation program is crucial to success within your internship and is therefore required for participants.  Therefore, we require all interns to attend all nine weeks of the program.

Q. Would it be all right for me to miss just one or two days of the internship program? I am scheduled to take an important exam that is only offered a few times per year.

A. If the exam (or other scheduling conflict) falls during the internship period, interns generally should work this out with the host organization where their internship will occur. Usually one or two days of absence from the internship (for good reason) isn’t a problem. If the conflict is scheduled to occur during training and orientation week, please discuss your situation with us and we will attempt to accommodate you.

Q. Will interns receive assistance with accessible housing?

A. Yes, we are working with a local housing service to reserve housing in an accessible dormitory building.  We will work with interns of all disabilities to ensure that your accessibility needs are met at the dorm.  We will cover the costs of your housing for the duration of your internship and training/orientation week. 

Q. Will interns have a roommate?

Usually, yes: most interns can expect to have a roommate who is also an intern in the Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs Program. Most likely, your two-person room will share an adjacent bathroom with one other dorm room. When feasible, the two people in the other dorm room sharing your bathroom will also be in USICD's internship program.

Q. Will interns receive assistance with transportation to Washington DC?

A. Yes, we will provide funding assistance for travel costs between US locations and Washington DC, whether you choose to travel by plane, train, car, etc.  In most cases, interns make and pay for their own travel arrangements up front.  Then, USICD will reimburse them for reasonable travel costs after interns submit receipts to us.  We cannot reimburse travel costs to or from locations outside the United States and cannot reimburse side trips .  Please communicate with us about any concerns or financial constraints that you may have.

Q. Will interns receive a stipend?

A. Yes.  We cannot determine the exact amount of the stipend until we have confirmed all interns with their host organizations for the summer.  But stipends are meant to defray some of the costs associated with participation in the internship program such as food, commuting to the office, etc.  The stipend will be very frugal: it will NOT be the equivalent of a salary.

Q. Where will I be placed for my internship?

A. In the first four years of the program, a total of 24 interns were placed at 17 different organizations in the DC area. Usually our host organizations host up to one intern from USICD's program in a given summer. Our alumni page has bios for all our past interns, including a link to the host organization where each of them was placed for their USICD program internships. 

Most likely, some of the host organizations we use next summer will be organizations who have hosted for us in the past.  We might also have a few new host organizations who have not previously hosted for us.  Your placement will depend on a range of factors.  In matching each intern to a host organization, we consider the needs and requirements of the host organization, the skills that each intern has to offer, and also the interests and desires of each intern and the suitability of the placement to the intern's long term career goals.

We cannot promise a perfect match for every intern (or host organization!).  But we try our best!  Even if you feel that your internship placement is not ideal for you, we hope you will still be able to benefit from mentoring support during the program and opportunities to strengthen your network of professional contacts. This will include the connections you make with other interns in the program, who, like you, aspire to careers in international development and foreign affairs!

Q. I have a specific organization in mind where I would love to complete an internship.

If you are invited to interview, then please tell us of any specific organizations that interest you! But please remember that we cannot guarantee a perfect match for each intern. Various constraints may arise that prevent us from placing you at your first or even second or third choice host organization.

Q. The organization I have in mind does not seem to have hosted any of USICD's interns in the past. Can I suggest it?

Yes, please. If you are invited to interview, then please tell us the organization you are thinking of. Bear in mind that the organization you want must have an office in the DC area to be eligible, even if it is not the main headquarters. If we accept you into the program, and if we have contacts at the organization, we can try to initiate a dialogue with them. But please bear in mind that various constraints may prevent us from placing you at your first or even second or third choice host organization.

Q. I would be interested in participating in USICD's internship program in the future.  Will the program be offered again next year?

A. You may wish to sign up for the USICD monthly newsletter and/or the internship program mailing list at www.usicd.org.  Subscribing to either of these should ensure that you receive any announcements about the internship program or similar opportunities in future years.

Q. I don’t want to specialize in disability inclusion.  I’m more interested in other issues in international development or foreign affairs.  Will that be a problem for this internship program?

A. No, not at all!  We are looking to encourage more people with disabilities to pursue careers in all areas of specialization in international development or foreign affairs.  Although some candidates may have a strong interest in disability issues, others will not.  We are hoping to select interns with a wide range of career goals and interests.  Thus we welcome both candidates with a disability-focused interest and also interns who have no disability-focused interests at all. 

Some host organizations are hoping to be matched with a intern who has interest or expertise in disability inclusion issues.  Other host organizations are not looking for this background and may have other priorities for their intern.  We cannot guarantee a perfect match for every intern or for every host organization.  But clear communication about your hopes and expectations (from both interns and host organizations!) will help us make the closest feasible match.

We believe that all professionals in the fields of international development and foreign affairs need to be mindful of the importance of mainstreaming disability, as well as other forms of social inequalities, into the work they do.  Disability is a cross-cutting issue that impacts every sector in every region in the world.  For this reason, we do incorporate information about disability inclusion into our curriculum for our one-week training and orientation program for all interns.

Q. What about dress code for the internship? What time should I plan to show up at my host organization each day?

A. These decisions are at the discretion of individual host organizations. The dress code that you need to follow, or the times when your internship should start and end each day, may not be exactly the same as the other interns in USICD's internship program because different host organizations may have different expectations. If you are accepted into the program, then we will seek to match you to the most appropriate host organization. At some point after your placement is confirmed and before your arrival in DC, we will put you in contact with your task supervisor at the host organization to discuss these and other details about their expectations for you.