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Internship Program

Situated on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., internships at the US-Asia Institute gives students the unique, practical opportunity in dealing with US-Asia affairs.

The US-Asia Institute (USAI) is a non-profit, United Nations-recognized nongovernmental organization located in the heart of Washington, D.C., whose mission is to encourage dialogue and understanding between the people and governments of the United States and nations of Asia.

Since its inception in 1979, USAI has sponsored an internship program. The Institute selects two to four undergraduates, recent graduates, or graduate students during the summer, winter/spring, and fall terms. The duration of the internship is approximately two to three months, with the possibility of extention. Internships are unpaid.

The USAI Internship Program gives students a unique opportunity for hands-on experience in the field of U.S.-Asian affairs. Throughout the internship, students will play an active role in organizing educational programming, overseas Congressional staff delegations, forums, receptions, and diplomatic off-the-record briefings. Students will also be expected to represent the Institute at Congressional hearings, think-tank briefings, and other networking events in the D.C. area.

The intent of USAI internships is to supplement academic scholarship with a pragmatic program that deals with the realities of the political process in international policy development. U.S.-Asia relations are undergoing a dramatic shift with the dynamism of unprecedented economic growth in Asia and its developing interdependency with the United States.

2012 Summer Interns were invited to the Embassy of Laos.

Qualifications and Duties:

USAI is looking for highly motivated undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students with a strong interest in U.S.-Asia relations. We seek individuals possessing strong written and organizational skills, as well as focused research interests.

The majority of interns are brought into the Institute as Political Affairs Interns.  In rare instances we may seek out either a Communications or Rule of Law Intern.  Unless otherwise stated, however, all intern openings are for Political Affairs Interns.

To apply for our internship program, you should submit your resume, a cover letter detailing when you are available to intern at the Institute, a plan of objectives, a brief description of your future academic and professional goals, and a short writing sample (1-4 pages).

Foreign applicants are encouraged to apply for internships.  Appropriate required visa is the responsibility of individual applicants.


Political Affairs Intern

Duties: The Political Affairs Intern will be responsible for representing USAI at briefings and congressional hearings, researching and writing reports on current issues related to U.S.-Asia relations, corresponding with legislative staff, organizing events and Congressional delegations to Asia, as well as assisting with the daily operations of the office.


  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Self-motivated


Communications Intern

(Position only available when advertised)

Duties: The Communications Intern will be responsible for managing the website, exploring and expanding on the Institute’s social media presence, producing brochures and newsletters, as well as assisting with the daily operations of the office. The intern will also work closely with the Political Affairs Intern in attending meetings, organizing events, seeking grants, and corresponding with Hill staff.


  • Website management/design skills
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience with Photo Shop and InDesign is a plus

Rule of Law Intern

(Position available only during the summer term, and only when advertised)

Duties: The Rule of Law Intern will manage the USAI Rule of Law Program. This involves corresponding with legislative staff, scheduling meetings, acting as the liaison between Chinese Fellows and American policymakers, preparing the Fellows for and accompanying them to their meetings, as well as assisting with the daily operations of the office.


  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Professionalism and strong time management skills
  • Experience managing a team
  • Command of Chinese and American cultures
  • Command of Mandarin (Preferred)

Internship Periods and Application Deadlines

While the dates for the internships’ duration are somewhat flexible, the deadlines are not. You are welcome to apply to all internship positions at your personal discretion.

Spring Term: January 10 – May 10
Deadline: November 1

Summer Term: May 15 – August 15
Deadline: March 15

Fall Term: September 1 – December 10
Deadline: July 1

Please send your application materials (cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample) to the following address, and please allow 2-3 weeks for us to review your application.

Internship Coordinator
US-Asia Institute
232 East Capitol Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

If you prefer to fax or e-mail your application, please use the information below:

Fax: (202) 747-5889
E-mail: usasiainstitute@hotmail.com

**NOTE: International students must have a student visa throughout the entirety of their internship at the US-Asia Institute**