Doing an internship with an international court or tribunal, an international or regional organization, or a diplomatic delegation of a State during, or after, your studies, can be a great experience. It can broaden your horizon, expand your knowledge on how the law is put into practice, strengthen your curriculum, help you determine the career you choose to pursue, and, at times, to find a job.

At the same time, choosing and applying for an internship requires careful consideration. The duration (several weeks-six months) and application requirements (language requirements, degree requirements,…) may vary considerably. Some internships are also fairly competitive. Furthermore, most are entirely self-funded. For Belgian students, some limited funding opportunities are available through, for instance, the Belgian Foreign Ministry, and especially through the ‘Flanders Trainee Programme’ of the Flemish Government. The Flemish government also posts news on internships with international organizations on its Facebook page.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of internships that may be of interest to students. The GRILI cannot guarantee that all information provided is accurate and up-to-date. The information provided below is merely intended to serve as initial guidance for students to find their way in the maze of internships. We invite users of this page to notify the GRILI contact persons if certain links are not functioning or if certain information is found missing. In addition, Ghent students or alumni that do an internship are invited to signal this to the GRILI so that we can exchange information with future candidates.

For master students at Ghent law school, it may be observed that certain internships may also qualify as an optional course as part of the masters programme, equivalent to 4 study points. A number of requirements must be taken into consideration, however. As explained in the ‘stagereglement’, the internship should be of a minimum duration of 150 hours. Students are required to write a legal (!) paper on their activities and experiences during the internship, or a specific aspect thereof. The choice for a certain internship must moreover be notified prior to the start of the second semester of the first master year. If students opt for an internship that is not on the list circulated by the law school, they should obtain the approval of the faculty’s internship commission. For more information as well as the 'stagereglement'.

As mentioned above, the list below is not exhaustive. Many other internship possibilities exist. In addition, it may be possible to reach out to contact persons with an institution for the purpose of doing an internship on one’s own initiative, even if the institution has no formalized procedure for such purposes. Finally, the present page does not extensively cover internships in the human rights field. More information on relevant international human rights traineeships can be found on the separate International Human Rights Courses Blog by GRILI members Yves Haeck and Clara Burbano Herrero (the blog also contains information on human rights courses and vacancies in Europe).

a. Internships with international and regional courts/tribunals

International Court of Justice

  • Competitive - Limited number of places per year for students or young professionals in the early stages of their careers.
  • Unfunded
  • Duration: 1-3 months

International Criminal Court (INFO)

  • Competitive - Limited number of places per year for persons with an academic degree or persons that are in the final stages of their studies at a recognized university. Very good record of academic performance required.
  • Unfunded
  • Duration: 3-6 months

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

  • Applicants must have completed at least three years of university studies.
  • Unfunded (except for applicants from developing countries)
  • Duration: 3 months (Jan-March; April-June; July-Sep; Oct-Dec )

Permanent Court of Arbitration

  • Applications should have a Ba. Degree and have completed at least four years of studies. Specialization in international law/dispute resolution/international environmental law is an asset.
  • Unfunded
  • Duration: 3 months (Jan-March; April-June; July-Sept; Oct-Dec)

UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

  • Internships vary though are generally unpaid and last approximately one year.

​b. United Nations, specialized organizations, UN-related organizations

Preliminary note: for some internships it may be useful to seek the assistance/support of your country’s permanent representation with the United Nations

Internships at the UN Headquarters in New York

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Master’s or PhD programme, be in the final year of a Ba. Programme or must be within one year after graduation from a Ba., Ma. or PhD programme.
  • Unfunded
  • Duration: 2-6 months

UN Young Professionals programme

  • Applicants should hold at least a first-level university degree relevant for the exam area applying for. The selection is based on a written and oral examination.
  • Applicants must be nationals of countries participating in the annual recruitment exercise.
  • Duration: 2-year contract with the UN

Internships at UN Headquarters in Geneva

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Master’s or PhD programme, be in the final year of a Ba. Programme or must be within one year after graduation from a Ba., Ma. or PhD programme.
  • Unfunded
  • Duration: 2-6 months

Internships at the United Nations office in Vienna and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

  • Applications should have a Ba. Degree and have completed at least four years of studies.
  • Unfunded
  • Duration: 2-6 months

Internships at the United Nations Office in Nairobi

  • Applications should be in the final year of their Ba, be enrolled in their Ma or have graduated from the latter.
  • Duration: 2-6 months

Internships with other UN funds and programmes etc.

Internships with specialized organizations

Related Organizations

c. Regional organizations

d. Permanent representations/embassies

Internships (related to UN activities) with the EU representation to the United Nations in New York

  • Applicants should hold a valid passport from an EU Member State or a pre-accession State; applicants should have completed a minimum of three university-level courses.
  • Unfunded
  • Four months (Sept-Dec; Jan-April; May-July). Deadlines for applications: 15 February, 8 September, 30 November

Internship with the Belgian Permanent Representation in New York

  • Applicants should be recent graduate or in final year of master’s program
  • Unfunded
  • Duration: 3 months

Internship with the main seat of the Belgian Foreign Ministry

  • Unfunded

Internships with Belgian embassies and other Belgian representations abroad

  • Unfunded

e. Other:

Interpol ​Internships

  • Applicants should be a national of a member country and be enrolled in, or have graduated from, an accredited academic institution within the past six months on the date of submission of the application.
  • Funding: Depends on duty station; € 550 per month in Lyon HQ
  • Duration: 6-11 months

Traineeships with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

  • Both paid and unpaid traineeships.


Academic and related