The United Nations Association of South Africa offers a wide range of unpaid semester-long full and part-time professional internships to both local and international students. Our interns participate in a variety of activities and perform a number of tasks in support of the department for which they work. The number and nature of internships depends on the needs of the organization at the time.

Application Procedures

We encourage you to visit this page regularly as internship openings are posted here. Additionally, we post regularly on our Facebook page informing about vacancies and internship positions. The United Nations Association of South Africa accepts internship applications for both posted positions and unsolicited applications. Applicants must email an updated CV and cover letter by email to .


  • To expose students to the world of UN and to encourage them to consider careers in the UN or UN related causes
  • To provide a framework by which individuals from diverse academic backgrounds can utilize their theoretical knowledge in practical work assignments; and
  • To help UNASA in achieving its mission.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree-granting programme during the internship or must be a recent graduate (within 8 months of graduation) of a college or university with a demonstrated interest in the UN and international development.
  • The student is also expected to be able to demonstrate previous international experience and ability to work independently.


Internship with UNASA includes a wide variety of tasks ranging from communication and media, research and fieldwork, office assistance, analytical work and organizational policy. Initially, you will be able to have the amount of responsibility you yourself have the spine for; the potential for growth and responsibility however, is yours to develop during your time with UNASA.

Keep in mind before applying for an internship:

Duration: The internship programme lasts for a minimum of two months and a maximum of six months. Once selected, you must begin your internship either prior to or within one year of graduation.

Cost: Interns at UNASA are not paid. All costs related to travel, insurance, accommodation and living expenses must be covered by either the interns or their sponsoring institutions. Note that in some countries the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers scholarship to those doing an internship within the UN system,

Visa: You will be responsible for obtaining and financing the necessary visa. The application process for South Africa requires both time and energy. UNASA will provide you with the necessary documents to obtain your visa as soon as your internship contract has been signed.

Location: The intern will be located at the UNASA office, but should be prepared to conduct research in townships/-marginalized communities and/or assist in a various range of UNASA projects in such areas.

Travel: You will arrange and finance your travel to Cape Town, South Africa where you will be an intern. UNASA can assist in picking up interns at the airport, if necessary.

Medical insurance: You will be responsible for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during the internship and must show proof of a valid major global medical insurance coverage before starting you internship.

Confidentiality: You must be discreet and keep confidential any and all unpublished information obtained during the course of the internship and may not publish any documents based on such information.

Academic Credit: In some cases, you may earn academic credit from your institution of higher education for the professional internship. Check with your university to confirm their academic credit policy for internships.


UNASA considers it to be important to inform about safety in South Africa, as it remains a main concern for visitors. South Africa has a very high level of crime, including rape and murder. The risk of violent crime to visitors travelling to the main tourist destinations like Cape Town is however generally low. Furthermore, the South African authorities give high priority to protecting tourists and tourism police are deployed in several large towns. Most cases of violent crime occur in the townships. Note that UNASA puts a great deal of effort into ensuring the safety of our interns while working in such areas.