How to apply for an internship with WHO Headquarters
Application Dates and Deadlines
To be considered for a summer internship, applications are accepted between December 1 - January 31 each year.
Summer internships are usually held between May and October.
To be considered for a winter internship, applications are accepted between August 1 - September 30 each year.
Winter internships are usually held between November and April
To apply for a WHO Internship, please see the link at the bottom of this page which will only be available during the stated application periods.
The application process requires filling a questionnaire that covers your education, current studies, language skills and experience.
Students who lack professional experience may find it challenging to complete the expertise section. Suggestion: Review your experience in light of your academic career or any activities you've done. Show how these experiences have provided you with skills and competencies to work in a team, to make decisions and to solve problems. These may relate to your actual schooling or a personal situation.
In the questionnaire, articulate your motivation for seeking a WHO Internship. Describe what type of project you feel you could contribute while interning with WHO. Tell us about your ideas. Include your dates of availability and any additional information that you feel would facilitate the selection process.
Internships are available in a wide variety of areas related to the technical and administrative work of WHO. Our Information Sheet for Interns regarding WHO departments (see related links to the right) provides links to WHO-related websites about WHO's technical and administrative work. Please review this information and specify which area of WHO would be most suitable for you. The more specific you can be in your request, the better chances there will be to match you to one of our technical or administrative programmes.
If selected for a WHO Internship, you will be asked to provide certified copies of proof of enrolment in a course of studies and proof of personal medical insurance (illness) coverage (which must include Switzerland.) Do not send these or other documents until specifically asked to do so.
All applications for WHO Internships are acknowledged when received and are made available to technical units for review. The period of time for this review is indeterminate. You will not be informed of the status of your application, so if you do not hear from a WHO technical unit in a reasonable period of time (say 1-2 months after the application closing date), you can assume that you will not be considered for a WHO internship at this time.
An important reminder: WHO Internships are not paid. Be aware that living in Geneva is expensive and finding accommodation can be challenging. All intern candidates should be aware of these factors before they consider applying for a WHO Internship in Geneva. WHO does not provide financial support, so interns are encouraged to seek funding from other external sources. WHO does not sign any agreements, proposed or required by a sponsor, university or equivalent institution.
Please note: WHO does NOT charge for internships so beware of any programmes that "facilitate" your obtaining an internship but require the paying of money.
Applying for funding can be time-consuming and complicated, so interns are advised to start their funding search well in advance. When applying for funding, you are likely to be requested to provide proof of offer stating that you have been accepted for an internship with the WHO. If accepted for an internship with the WHO, you will be eligible to join the online intern community (EZcollab) where additional information will be provided to you to aid you in identifying alternative sources of funding.
Warning: If selected for an internship and you are identifying accommodation in Geneva, do NOT make advance payments or provide guarantee sums in advance of your arrival. This is particularly important if someone asks you to wire funds to Western Union or a bank outside of Switzerland. Never wire money at the request of any prospective "landlord" via Western Union, Moneygram, or any other wire service. Even if they tell you to wire the funds to a friend or relative's name "to be safe", it is a trap! Never send a scan of your passport or other ID. These thieves will use your identity to scam others. There are some situations, however, where you may need to send funds - a reasonable amount of one or two month’s rent - to secure a place to stay. Be careful.
The World Health Organization receives a very large number of applications each year. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (see related links to the right) if you have questions concerning the WHO Internship Programme.
If you have additional questions, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.