World Health Organization (WHO) Internship Programme 1374 views

Type of Funding

Not funded




University students who are interested in global public health issues and in a career in public health, may apply for the World Health Organization (WHO) Internship Programme, which offers a wide range of opportunities for students to gain insight in the technical and administrative programmes of WHO. There are 2 Internship periods for WHO internships at Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland: the Summer and Winter Internships, which run from May to October, and November to April, respectively. Interns have to work full-time at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The duration of the internship is between 6 to 24 weeks, full-time. Internship vacancy notices are opened each year for 6 months at a time, from January to June and from July to December.

There are internships also available in the following WHO regional and out-posted offices: WHO Regional Office for Africa; WHO Regional Office for the Americas; WHO Regional Office for Europe; WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean; WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia; WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific; WHO Global Service Centre (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia); WHO Kobe Centre (Kobe, Japan); WHO Lyon Office (Lyon, France); and WHO Office at the United Nations (New York, USA).


WHO internships are not paid. Travel costs, travel arrangements (including visas), and living accommodations are the responsibility of the interns.


Applicants have to be 20 years old or older, and have to be enrolled in a course of study at a university or equivalent institution leading to a formal qualification (graduate or postgraduate). Those who have already graduated may also qualify for consideration provided that they apply to the internship within 6 months after completion of their qualification.They must have completed 3 years of full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution (Bachelors level or equivalent). They need to have a first degree in a public health, medical or social field related to the technical work of WHO or a degree in a management-related or administrative field.

Applicants have to be fluent in the working language of the office of assignment (English or French for WHO Headquarters). Applicants are to indicate the area of work within WHO that they are hoping to intern in. Those who are related to WHO staff or who have previously participated in WHO’s internship programme are not eligible. They must be fluent at least in 1 of the working language of the office of assignment.

Applicants should have the following qualities:

  • Respect and promote individual and cultural difference
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Show willingness to learn from mistakes
  • Produce and deliver quality results
  • Work collaboratively with team members

Applicants also need to be familiar with commonly used computer programmes, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Knowledge of specialized computer programmes, for example, statistical software such as XLStat may be an advantage.


The current call for applications requires submission of applications online by 1 January 2019.

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