by Sandra Hochstöger
Getting your career started is not an easy endeavor. Especially in international relations, the infamous unpaid internship is a bitter pill one apparently has to swallow for professional progress. But is this true? Apart from it being socially exclusive (not everybody has the privilege to be able to work for free – a girl’s gotta eat), a bit of pocket money often already makes a huge difference in terms of feeling appreciated for a full-time commitment. WIIS Austria has looked into employers in Vienna for you that do provide their interns with experience AND an income.
1. UNHCR Austria Office
For a monthly remuneration of approximately 700€, the Austrian Office of the UN Refugee Agency offers internships for a duration of six months. Good German is a must for internships in the legal department, the public relations office and the project “Community Dialog und Forum”. For interns at the UNHCR liaison office to the OSCE and the UN agencies based in Vienna, only excellent English is required in terms of language skills.
2. UNCAC Coalition
The UNCAC Coalition is a globally active umbrella organisation, uniting civil society actors committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). It has only recently opened its Vienna office. Interns are entitled to a work contract under Austrian law for six months with a salary of 1.400€ gross per month.
3. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
The FRA regularly has openings for traineeships as well as designated Roma traineeships, offered to candidates of Romani background. The traineeships last from a minimum of three to up until a maximum of twelve months. Applicants can choose from various professional fields, such as research and data, communications and events or institutional cooperation and networks. Trainees receive a monthly grant, which corresponds to one quarter of the grade AD5 – step 1 as defined each year by the European Commission and weighted using the correction coefficient for Vienna. This roughly amounts to 1,000€ per month.
4. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
The IAEA is the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field. The agency offers an array of internship opportunities throughout the year. A stipend of 500€ is provided to interns who do not receive financial support from an institution, university or other source, and an additional 500€ is offered to interns who pay for their own accommodation to a non-family third party.
5. International Organization for Migration (IOM)
The Austrian chapter of the IOM regularly recruits interns for project support and assistance to the office’s regular activities. Internships usually last three to six months. Good English and German skills are a prerequisite for an internship at IOM Austria. Funded interns currently receive approximately 400€ each month.
6. Austrian Federal Ministries
The so-called Verwaltungspraktikum is the jackpot of internships when it comes to salary. Austrian citizens can apply for these internships in Austrian federal administration, for example at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Defence, but also in embassies and delegations abroad. A Verwaltungspraktikum lasts up to twelve months and can also be divided into various internships, if the full amount of twelve months is not exhausted in the initial position. Interns receive a gross salary of approximately 1,400€ in the first three months and approximately 2,800€ each month for the rest of their contract.
7. Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime is a network of independent global and regional experts working on human rights, democracy, governance, and development issues to combat organized crime. Regularly checking their website for intern- and traineeships could “pay off”.
8. European External Action Service (EEAS)
The Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna regularly offers funded traineeships for young graduates for a period of up to six months. Remunerations vary but are comparable to the ones offered by FRA.
9. SOS Children’s Villages International
If you are interested in a non-governmental social development organisation that supports children without parental care as well as families in difficult living conditions and advocates for the rights of children and young people, SOS Children’s Villages International might be a good fit for you. The umbrella organisation for the global federation of SOS Children’s Villages offers internships with a fixed gross salary of 1,150€ per month.
Not a designated employer, but probably very helpful if you found the perfect, yet unpaid, internship is Erasmus+. You may receive an Erasmus+ grant as a contribution to your travel and subsistence costs. Extra funding is available for traineeships abroad that can last from a minimum of two months to a maximum of twelve months. If you want to find out whether this would be an option for you, check out the Erasmus+ website for further details.
Are you aware of any other paid internship opportunities in the field of international security in Vienna or also in the rest of Austria? Tell us about it in the comments!