Center for Forced Migration Studies (CFMS)

Geneva Internship

Group of people in geneva

Interns learn about international advocacy, gain hands on experience advocating on behalf of refugees and serve as assistants to the official Rapporteur at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Annual Consultations with NGOs in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Following the Consultations, interns must contribute to the preparation of a final analysis and participate in the follow-up dialogue with local agencies representing refugees. Students in the past have received practicum credit for participation.

Internship tasks:

  • Participating in an International Advocacy Workshop
  • Providing background research and contributing to the development of the CFMS Action Plan
  • Pre-departure meeting with local agencies representing refugees
  • Attending all pre-departure meetings, weekly training sessions and the workshops in April and May
  • Engaging in a pre-departure skills evaluation
  • Serving as assistants to the official Rapporteur at the UNHCR Consultations
  • Lobbying at the Consultations (representing the CFMS)
  • Participating in post-Consultations training and debriefing
  • Participating in the preparation of a final analysis of the 2016 Consultations
  • Follow up dialogue with local agencies representing refugees


Internship places are competitive and dependent on a proven interest in refugee issues, coursework in refugee studies, and experience in policy analysis or some knowledge of refugee law. This opportunity is available to all students across the university at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Program dates

The Geneva Internship involves weekly meetings in April and May and a pre-departure leadership/lobbying workshop. Interns will then travel to Geneva to attend the UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs. The 2017Annual Consultations with NGOs session runs June 14 to 16, 2017. All participants must arrive in Geneva on the arranged date no late arrivals or partial attendance will be considered.

Program cost

Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. Need-based scholarships are available.

Students can also apply to the Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) to receive funding.

  • Airfare: Estimated airfare to Geneva is $1,200.
  • Accomodations: The CFMS arranges low-cost shared accommodations for participants. Budget approximately $70/night per participant (in a double room), about $300 total for the week.