Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

WTO Internships

WTO Internship

The opportunity

The Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO Mission) located in Geneva, Switzerland is offering the opportunity for Australians to undertake a 3-month internship.

In 2023, there will be two opportunities for Australians to undertake internships at the WTO Mission. The first internship will take place from February to April 2023. The second internship will take place from September to November 2023. Final dates can be settled with the Mission once an intern has been offered a position. We are looking to select one intern for each intake period.

Applications for internships in 2023 will be open from:

Thursday 6 October – Sunday 23 October 2022 at 23:00 (Geneva time)

Please note that applications received outside this these dates will not be considered.

Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization

The Australian WTO Mission represents Australia in the WTO to promote Australia’s trade and investment interests, and to support the rules-based multilateral trading system. The WTO Mission also represents Australia’s interests in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

What is the role?

The work in this position will be varied and dynamic. Under the guidance of experienced officers from the WTO Mission, interns will support and advance Australia’s interests in the WTO, WIPO and UNCTAD. Interns will have the opportunity to attend formal and informal meetings and contribute to reporting on those meetings, undertake research and analysis on various issues, and carry out a range of other tasks. Interns will also develop networks with other interns and diplomats, learn first-hand about Australia’s diplomatic activity and gain a useful understanding of diplomatic protocol.

Who we are looking for?

The WTO Mission seeks interns with the skills, education, knowledge and abilities to contribute to advancing Australia's national interests in the WTO, WIPO and UNCTAD. 

This position will require adaptability, ability to build relationships and a capacity to develop quickly an understanding of government policy and protocol/procedure in the WTO, WIPO and UNCTAD.

The candidates we are looking for are:

·         talented, highly motivated and committed to advancing Australia’s policy interests

·         good communicators with excellent oral and written communication skills

·         strategic thinkers and practical problem-solvers

·         able to build relationships and are team players

·         flexible, adaptable and resourceful

·         sensitive to, and appreciative of, diversity

·         able to work under pressure with (at times) limited guidance

·         understanding of the global trading regime and Australia’s interests (highly desirable although not essential).

We actively encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds who share our values.

Many interns come into the WTO Mission while continuing their university studies. Others have recently completed their studies, or join us from the workforce. If you graduated some time ago and have substantial work or internship experience, you may prefer to apply for positions advertised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra.


Before lodging an application for an internship please ensure that you meet the minimum criteria listed below.

You must:

·         be an Australian citizen

·         have completed, or are completing, tertiary studies in relevant areas including economics, political science, international relations, international trade, law or international development

·         be willing to undergo a mandatory police check

·         be willing to re-locate to Geneva for a period of approximately three months, on a self-funded basis, which includes arrangements and costs for travel, visa, accommodation, and health insurance.

Please note: Australian students holding a Swiss B residence permit for their studies must check with the Geneva Cantonal Office of Population whether they are authorised to undertake an internship with the Australian Permanent Mission and under what conditions. A confirmation of this authorisation must be provided when submitting an internship application. Such individuals will not be issued a Swiss legitimation card.

Australians already residing in Switzerland with a current B (work/residence permit) or C (permanent residence) permit must provide a copy of their permit when submitting an internship application. Such individuals will not be issued a Swiss legitimation card.

Conduct and Ethics

The WTO Mission demands the highest standards of professional conduct. Ethical conduct by staff and interns contributes significantly to the efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace and to the standing of the Mission and its employees in Australia and internationally.

In agreeing to participate in the WTO Mission’s Internship Program and undertake duties as directed, interns are required to comply with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Locally Engaged Staff Code of Conduct, which takes account of the particular significance of the Department's representational role outside Australia.

Funding assistance 

Interns will be provided a monthly stipend of CHF1,250 to assist with living expenses in Geneva. Please note that the stipend is not a salary and it does not constitute an employee/employer relationship. Be prepared: the cost of living is high in Geneva.

Interns are responsible for their own arrangements and costs in relation to visa, travel, accommodation and health insurance.

The Mission will assist with organising a visa.


How to apply

To apply you will need to submit:

1.       your Resume/CV (3 page max)

2.       a written reference (no more than one page); and

3.       a document setting out answers to the questionnaire below.

If you are a student, we particularly welcome applications that include a reference or letter of support from your university.  

All applications should be emailed to [email protected]

Please include the subject line "SURNAME, first name: WTO Internship Application".

Please clearly indicate in your email which intake you are applying for.  You can choose to apply for the February to April 2023 intake or September to November 2023 intake, or both (if you are available for either intake).

Short-listed candidates may be interviewed. Successful candidates will be advised in writing (by email) after which they will need to undertake a probity check.

Requests for further information should be emailed to [email protected]



We ask applicants to answer the following three questions. Responses should be no more than 200 words in length per question. The questionnaire is designed to assess your suitability to perform the duties of the position including personal qualities, experience, skills and knowledge relevant to the work of an intern at the WTO Mission.

1.       Describe a challenge facing the WTO and how Australia should address it.

2.       What are your particular interests or experience in international trade or the multilateral rules-based system generally?

3.       Briefly outline a recent achievement, project or task that demonstrates the skills you will bring to this role.