World Trade Organization (WTO) Paid Internship Programme in Geneva, Switzerland

The World Trade Organization (WTO) offers a prestigious and highly sought-after internship programme for post-graduate students who are passionate about international trade. This programme provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to gain practical experience and deeper knowledge of the multilateral trading system. In this article, we will explore the different internship programmes offered by the WTO and delve into the eligibility criteria, contractual terms, and other important aspects of these internships.

The WTO Internship Programme

The WTO Internship Programme is open to post-graduate students from all WTO member countries, as well as countries or customs territories engaged in accession negotiations. This programme aims to attract a diverse range of talented individuals who can contribute to the work of the WTO. Through this internship, participants have the chance to work alongside experienced professionals in various areas, including dispute settlement, trade policy analysis, legal affairs, research, and statistics.

The China LDC and Accessions Programme

The China LDC and Accessions Programme, also known as the China WTO Accession Internship Programme, is specifically designed for post-graduate students from developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs). This programme aims to support these countries in their efforts to participate more actively in international trade and strengthen their capacities in trade-related matters. Selected interns under this programme will have the opportunity to work on projects related to China’s WTO accession and gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries in the global trade arena.

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The WTO Support Programme for Doctoral Studies

The WTO Support Programme for Doctoral Studies is another initiative aimed at post-graduate students from developing countries and LDCs. This programme provides financial support to doctoral candidates who are conducting research on topics related to international trade. Interns selected under this programme will have the opportunity to work closely with WTO experts, contribute to ongoing research projects, and benefit from the intellectual environment at the WTO Secretariat.


To be eligible for the WTO internship programmes, candidates must be nationals of WTO member states or Observer governments. They should have completed at least one year of their postgraduate studies in a relevant discipline such as economics, law, political science, or international relations. The minimum age requirement for interns is 21 years, while the maximum age limit is set at 30 years.

Contractual Terms and Conditions

Interns selected for the WTO internship programmes will enter into an agreement with the Director of the Human Resources Division, outlining the conditions of service and any remuneration details. While interns will receive a daily allowance of CHF 60, which includes weekends and official holidays falling within the selected period, no other form of remuneration will be provided. It’s important to note that the internship period is unpaid, and interns are responsible for their own insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Geneva.

Location and Travel Expenses

Internships take place at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. However, it’s essential to understand that the WTO does not cover travel expenses to and from Geneva, nor does it provide insurance for such travel. Interns are required to make their own travel arrangements and ensure they have adequate insurance coverage for illness and accidents during their internship.

Internship Duration and Divisions

Internships at the WTO are for a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months. The exact duration will depend on the needs of the different divisions within the organization. In some cases, internships may be split between two divisions, with each division hosting the intern for a minimum of three months. It’s worth noting that an internship cannot exceed a total of six months, and consecutively completed internships cannot be followed by another internship. However, interns may apply for external vacancies within the WTO Secretariat during or after their internship.

Future Opportunities

Completing an internship at the WTO opens doors to a wealth of future opportunities. The experience gained, along with the connections made within the organization, can prove invaluable for interns seeking to pursue careers in international trade, law, economics, or policy analysis. Interns are encouraged to utilize the knowledge and skills acquired during their internship to apply for external vacancies and contribute to the field of international trade in various capacities.


  1. How can I apply for the WTO internship programmes?

    To apply for the WTO internship programmes, you need to visit the official WTO website and follow the application instructions provided. The application deadline for the current year is 31 December 2023.

  2. Can I apply for more than one internship programme?

    Yes, eligible candidates can apply for multiple internship programmes. However, it’s important to carefully review the eligibility criteria for each programme to ensure you meet the requirements.

  3. Are the internships paid?

    Yes, selected interns will receive a daily allowance of CHF 60, which covers weekends and official holidays. However, no other form of remuneration will be provided.

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