GTI Internship Program

GTI Master students presenting digital fabrication technologies to the public, at WSIS 2019

In  collaboration with a range of partners in International Geneva, the Geneva Tsinghua Initiative is pioneering a novel GTI Internship Program, dedicated to innovation challenges for the SDGs. A key feature of the GTI Internship Program is the possibility for partnering institutions to mentor interdisciplinary teams of Master students bringing a range of skill sets to bear on institutional, policy or technical innovations related to the SDGs, for the equivalent of a semester, including writing a comprehensive report about their results.

A major benefit for the participating Master students is that a flexible schedule is agreed with the partner institutions, enabling students to work on their internship part-time during their academic semester, as well as full-time during inter-semester periods. This way, students can obtain between 12 and 30 ECTS credits, the latter figure equivalent to a full semester. The GTI Internship Program also supports the teams and their projects, providing workspace in its SDG Solution Space and expert academic mentorship, as part of the hands-on and challenge-based approach to learning the GTI promotes.

The first GTI internships of this kind were launched in 2019 as part of the GTI’s Dual Degree Master Program, in collaboration with ITU’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS Forum) in 2019. Student teams organised events such as an all-day Youth Track, an exhibit on ICTs for Youth, as well as panel discussions and workshops with high-level participants on topics such as e-learning in refugee camps, and virtual reality for simulating the effects of climate change.

GTI Master Student moderating expert panel on VR for Sustainable Development at WSIS 2019

As of January 2020, the GTI Internship Program offers opportunities with: the UN Environmental Program (UNEP); the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), for both their WSIS Forum and AI for Good Summit; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA), as well as several start-ups, NGOs and Foundations that are part of the SDG ecosystem around the Solution Space.

As well as these novel and flexible team-based innovation internships, the GTI also connects students with other SDG-related internship opportunities offered by institutions in International Geneva, for example with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the NGO Terre des Hommes, and the non-profit B-Lab Switzerland.

Practical Information for Students: To earn 30 ECTS credits an internship should last the equivalent of three months full-time, and lead to an academically-sound internship report. The internship report, which can be written as a group, should link practical work with the partner institution with academic concepts from the students’ Master studies, and may take 2-3 months to complete, for a total equivalent of 1 semester work. As part of their report, students should identify and analyse how their work contributes to relevant SDG goals and indicators. Students are co-supervised by both an academic supervisor from their Master teaching staff and a mentor from the partnering institution, thereby ensuring the deliverables expected by both partners are met. Internships can be carried out during the academic semester (part-time) as well as during parts of the WInter and Summer breaks (full-time) to achieve the full 30 credits. Please note that Geneva cantonal law allows students to work up to 15 hours per week during semesters and full-time during holidays.

If you are interested in joining the GTI Internship Program, as an institution offering internship positions, or as a Master student from the GTI partner institutions, UNIGE and THU, please contact