GTI Internship Program

Rethinking student internships for the 21st century

The GTI offers unique internship opportunities with our partners in International Geneva, including the dozens of UN agencies, hundreds of NGOs and many other International Organizations and National Missions that represent over 10% of Geneva’s economy.  The GTI has developed a bespoke agreement that enables partners to tailor internships to their needs, while ensuring that students can combine internships with their regular academic workload in an effective way.

A big plus for the host institutions is the possibility to have teams of up to 4 students working together on an SDG-related issue or project. Team internships and project-based innovation are actively encouraged at GTI, in line with the underlying collaborative, interdisciplinary and intercultural philosophy of our SDG learning programs.

Although we concentrate on securing meaningful internships for our MIHDS Master students, we are able to extend the GTI Internship Program to all interested UNIGE students, and  wider extension to students from other strategic partner universities is also possible through our exchange semester programs. 

In addition, positive experiences with online collaboration during the Covid crisis emboldens us to pursue fully online internships as an option with select host institutions, on the basis that this can be a more sustainable and equitable approach, both financially and in terms of CO2 footprint, even if the work experience may be somewhat less enriching. 

The internship is compulsory for students of the MIHDS Dual Degree track and optional for the Single Degree track. To earn the corresponding 30 ECTS credits, an internship must last at least 3 months full-time, or the equivalent if working part-time, and lead to an academically-sound internship report that must link the practical work with the theoretical and academic concepts also studied in the program, and specifically identify and analyze the relevant SDG goals and indicators.

Students are supervised by both an academic supervisor from the MIHDS faculty and an institutional supervisor, thereby ensuring the deliverables expected by both partners are met. Internships can be carried out during the academic year (part-time model) and/or during Winter or Summer breaks. Single Degree students can also do a GTI internship during Semester 4 of the Master program.

GTI allows considerable flexibility in setting up internship working hours, and host institutions are encouraged to offer well-adapted working conditions. GTI also provides permanently available working spaces for all its students, so a host institution can take on interns even if it does not have enough office space available.

So far, partners of the program include the UN Environmental Program (UNEP), which takes in one or two teams per year; the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which hosts up to 15+ students to work on the organisation of the WSIS and AI for Good forums; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) with up to 4-5 teams per year; SDG Lab; UNAIDS; the International Trade Center (ITC), as well as dynamic social media start-up Goodwall.

The GTI has also developed a unique “Student Entrepreneur” internship with the incubator Geneus, thereby linking our students with the Geneva innovation ecosystem. Other institutions that have successfully hosted GTI students include the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Terre des Hommes, B-Lab Switzerland.

If you are interested in joining the GTI Internship Program, either as a student or a host institution, please contact susana.perdiz@unige.ch