Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs DC Internship Program

Background on USICD's Internship Program

In 2013, with the vital support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), USICD launched its first internship program focusing on youth with disabilities who are interested in international development or foreign affairs careers. The project follows from a vision, core to USICD’s mission, to increase disability inclusion in U.S. foreign affairs by supporting future generations of Americans to invest their skills and talents in this field.  The program will be held again in the summer of 2016 and 2017 with continued funding from MEAF. 

The Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program brought its first cohort of seven talented graduate and undergraduate students and recent graduates with disabilities to Washington, DC, for nine weeks in the summer of 2013 to expose them to the international development field.  A similar program was held in 2014 and 2015.  Participants go through a one week training course and then work with a major international development agency for eight weeks to learn more about foreign aid and development.  Throughout the summer internship program, interns will be able to participate in trainings and workshops on career development topics, in addition to attending  meetings at the State Department and other agencies. Interns will receive a limited stipend, reimbursement for travel expenses, and fully-accessible housing.  We anticipate that the summer 2016 cohort will need to be in DC from May 29 to July 30, 2016, though these dates may be subject to change.  For more detail on the program, please consult the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) page on What Interns Can Expect if Accepted into USICD's Internship Program.

Each intern in the Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs program is usually placed at a different host organization for their internship.  To learn more about past alumni who have participated in the program, and the various host organizations where they were placed, visit the Alumni page.

Funding from MEAF also made it possible for USICD to develop a new training manual on Engaging Interns with Disabilities at International Organizations, targeted at managers, supervisors, human resources personnel, and others at U.S.-based international organizations.  We welcome feedback on the manual, as well as examples of best practices or success stories from your organization on how you have been inclusive of interns or other workers with disabilities.


  • You must be an American citizen.
  • You must either be a graduate student, or a rising college junior or senior, or else a recent graduate. "Recent graduates" for the summer 2016 program need to have graduated between spring 2015 and spring 2016 with a bachelor's or a graduate degree.
  • You must be a person with a disability.
  • You must meet one of the following age criteria:
    • Any candidate who meets the other eligibility criteria above is eligible up to age 30 (i.e., born on or after May 29, 1985). 
    • U.S. veterans who meet the other eligibility criteria remain eligible up to age 35 (i.e., born on or after May 29, 1980). 
    • USICD may also consider granting other exceptions to the 30-year age limit in extraordinary circumstances on a case by case basis for other candidates up to age 35.  If you feel that you have had extraordinary circumstances that caused significant and unusual disruption to your education, training, or early career, please contact Andrea Shettle at to explain your circumstances as soon as feasible before applying.  USICD staff will discuss your circumstances internally and grant a decision within 15 business days (three weeks) on whether you may be eligible to apply under this exception.  Being granted permission to apply does not guarantee that you will be selected to enter the program. 
      FOR EXAMPLE, if you are a war refugee whose education was disrupted by the war in your country, then this might qualify you for an exception to the age limit, provided that you still meet the other eligibility criteria. 
  • For more specific questions related to eligibility, please consult the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) page on the eligibility criteria for USICD's internship program.

How to Apply

We are now open for applications for the summer 2016 internship program!  The application deadline is January 12, 2016.  To apply for USICD's internship program, please do both of the following by the application deadline:

1. Complete the on-line application form

2. Then, please send your resume in file attachment to  We prefer to receive resumes in Word format (.docx or .doc)

Before completing the application, you may wish to consult the Frequently Asked Questions, especially the section on the Application and Screening Process.  If you have any questions about the internship program or the application process, please reach out to Andrea Shettle at or call USICD's office at 202-347-0102. 

Also contact us to ask for your email address(es) to be added to our mailing list to receive occasional reminders about the January 12, 2016, application deadline.

FAQ About USICD's Internship Program

Bios of past alumni of USICD's internship program (2015, 2014, 2013)

Links to blog posts by past Interns

Host Organizations

If your organization is interested in hosting an intern from USICD's internship program in the summer 2016 program, please contact David Morrissey at or (202) 347-0102.  During the 2013, 2014, and 2015 internship programs, a total of 16 different host organizations have hosted 21 interns via USICD's internship program.

Even if you are unable to host an intern via our program at this time, you may wish to review USICD's new training manual on Engaging Interns with Disabilities at International Organizations or share it with relevant colleagues at your organization.  You may find it helpful in considering how to make the process of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and employing interns at your organization more inclusive of people with disabilities.