Students: Apply for the Virtual Student Foreign Service Internship

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Jul 19, 2013 / 0 comments

Are you yearning to get some hands-on experience learning about how federal agencies operate, but can’t make it to Washington, D.C., for an internship? Federal Student Aid (FSA), a principal office of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), is teaming up with the Department of State’s Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) to harness technology and to engage students who are interested in careers in postsecondary education but can’t make it to Washington. But hurry - Applications are due by July 22, 2013.

VSFS is a virtual e-Internship program housed in the Department of State that matches student interns with federal agencies to complete projects virtually from college and university campuses in the United States and throughout the world.


Virtual internships: Virtual Foreign Service


This year, VSFS has 276 projects available, and student interns are asked to commit 10 hours per week from September through April. Past e-interns have worked on projects focused on research, social media, website design, data visualization, reporting, teaching, and a plethora of other areas.

The Virtual Student Foreign Service is part of a growing effort by the State Department to harness technology and a commitment to global service among young people to facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement. Working from college and university campuses in the United States and throughout the world, eInterns (American students working virtually) are partnered with our U.S. diplomatic posts overseas and State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and the U.S. Commercial Service domestic offices to conduct digital diplomacy that reflects the realities of our networked world. This introductory video provides an overview of the VSFS program.

To Apply

Applications for the 2013-2014 VSFS eInternship program will be accepted due July 2 – 20, 2013 on USAJobs. Interested U.S. citizen undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate students are encouraged to go to USAJobs to apply to make a real difference – virtually - during the 2013 - 2014 academic year. As part of the application package, students must submit an official or unofficial transcript, a statement of interest, and a resume. Applicants will see all available positions and can select up to three projects to which to apply. U.S. citizen students studying abroad or attending foreign universities are welcome to apply.

Program Details

VSFS eIntern duties and responsibilities will vary according to the location and needs of the VSFS projects identified at the sponsoring domestic or overseas diplomatic office. VSFS projects may be research based, contributing to reports on issues such as human rights, economics or the environment. They may also be more technology oriented, such as working on web pages, or helping produce electronic journals. Selected students are expected to work virtually on an average of 5-10 hours per week on VSFS eInternship projects. Students apply in the summer and if selected, begin the eInternship that fall lasting through spring. Most work and projects are internet-based and some have language requirements. Past projects asked students to:

  •     Develop and implement a public relations campaign using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc. to communicate and reach out to youth
  •     Conduct research on the economic situation, prepare graphic representations of economic data, and prepare informational material for the U.S. Embassy website
  •     Create a system to gather and analyze media coverage on a set of topics including environment, health, and trade
  •     Research IT-based interventions that have been successful in higher education, particularly in teacher training
  •     Write and contribute biweekly articles to the U.S. Embassy's Facebook page on topics such as internet, computer science/technology, history, and literature
  •     Develop a series of professional instructional video clips to be published by the U.S. Embassy
  •     Survey social media efforts of U.S. diplomatic posts, NGOs, and private companies around the world to help establish best practices in a U.S. Embassy’s social media outreach business plan.


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All information contained herein provided by the US Department of State