Office of International Relations Summer Internship, Smithsonian (Washington, DC)


You may know us at Smithsonian for our museums and collections, but we’re also a global organization actively involved in researching biodiversity, conserving priceless artifacts, preserving cultural heritage, and much more. We work in more than 140 countries around the world, including China, Armenia, Benin, and Peru, to name but a few. Discover the difference we’re making in communities around the world with an internship at the Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations (OIR).

OIR serves as the central point for Institution-wide advice, insight, analysis, and coordination of all international activities of the Institution. OIR’s mission is to leverage the creativity, assets, and expertise of the entire Smithsonian to advance our mission: the increase and diffusion of knowledge. We mobilize communities, scientists, scholars, and partner organizations to exchange ideas and shape creative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, always hoping to inspire the next generation of leaders to join us. Underpinning all of our work internationally is a core focus on partnership and building the capacity of peers around the world.

OIR offers three different internship roles to support our office in its day-to-day functions. OIR internships provide professional development opportunities for students/recent graduates interested in museum education, community engagement and outreach, curriculum development, communications, cultural heritage preservation, conservation science, and other relevant disciplines. The intern will serve primarily in an administrative capacity. Internships can be taken for university credit.

OIR internship roles, with illustrative duties and learning objectives, are as follows:

  • Global Projects Intern: Engaging with various members of the OIR team to provide project management support, including proposal development and project implementation activities.
  • Communications Intern: Supporting digital communications, including content research and creation, and planning, design, and analysis of social media posts.

Internships run for a minimum of three months and typically correspond with academic year terms. Internships can be part-time (24 hours per week) or full-time (32 hours per week), depending on intern availability and office needs.

Internship is unpaid, with a small stipend intended to offset transportation or other associated costs.


This position is designed for a degree-seeking graduate or undergraduate student or a recent graduate. Strong working knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel & Word is essential. Prior international experience (study or work abroad), or in a cross-cultural setting is preferred, as well as experience in an office environment. An excellent command of the English language, as well as strong interpersonal skills, is required. Candidate must also be self-motivated, organized, and detail-oriented.


If you would like to apply to multiple positions, we will save your application in each category for consideration. All interns, regardless of role, are also tasked with general office support and administrative activities.

Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references (names and contact information) addressed to Samantha Peterson at, and identify the internship role (or roles) you would like be considered for.

Apply by March 1, 2020. 

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