• Last updated: 31 Aug. 2016 17:15

Internship Programme

Calling period NOW CLOSED

Please do not send applications since the calling period closed on August 31st at 17:00 local time.

Job Opportunities

Internship Programme

The NATO Defense College Internship Programme aims to provide a small number of current students or recent graduates (degree obtained no longer than 12 months ago) with the opportunity to “intern” with the NDC in Rome.

Candidates studying Political Science, International Relations, Security Studies, Media Studies, Journalism, or related studies are invited to apply.

Internships will, in principle, last 5 months, and a total of 4 candidates will be selected.

Programme Objectives

The NATO Defense College Internship Programme has three main objectives:

  • To provide interns with an opportunity to learn from the NATO community and get a better understanding and a more balanced view of the organization.
  • To contribute to creating a more diverse workforce.
  • To expand understanding of NATO in Alliance countries.

What does NATO Defense College offer?

Interns will benefit by experiencing an international organization from the inside while substantiating their curriculum vitae.

Subject to slots availability, Internship is offered in the following areas:

Middle East Faculty (MEF)

Candidates applying for internships within the Middle East Faculty will be required to support the division with activities ranging from organization, research and administrative tasks. Interns working within the faculty will be involved in a range of aspects of the academic and practical preparation of the courses run by the faculty. Candidates should have a strong academic background in a field such as political theory, international relations, security studies, economics and management and should be able to demonstrate good organizational skills and cooperative attitude in a multicultural environment.

A very good level of English language proficiency and a very good level of Arabic are required. Knowledge of French and/or Italian would also be of benefit to the faculty but is not essential.

Back to Internship Areas

Research Division (RD)

Candidates applying for internships within the Research Division will be required to support the RD in all tasks typical for a research institution (organization of events, research support, and administrative tasks). More specifically:

  • Provide administrative support to the Research Assistants (RA) during the organisation of Seminars, Workshops and Conferences, as well as issuing Travel Orders, Travel Claims, and other electronic forms when needed.
  • Take minutes during meetings and conferences, as requested by the RA.
  • Update the Division’s contacts’ database, by browsing and searching relevant information on the web.
  • Support the Publications Assistant (PA) when dispatching publications in house and abroad.
  • Distributing internal correspondence to the members of the Division.
Good working knowledge of the OFFICE package is required.
In addition, they might find time to pursue their own research project under the guidance of one of the resident researchers.
A very good level of English language proficiency is required. Knowledge of French and/or Italian would also be of benefit but is not essential.

Academic Operations Division (AOD)

The Academic Operations Division is responsible for delivering the major courses run in the College. The Division comprises:

  • the Programmes Branch – responsible for programming, coordination and the daily management of courses and provision of support to Course Members;
  • the Faculty – responsible for the direction of all academic activity in the Committees;
  • Field Studies Branch – responsible for the preparation and execution of the six times 2 week field studies conducted to NATO and Partner countries each year;
  • Linguistic Services Section – responsible for the provision of language support services.

The intern would support the Division Assistant who works for the Head of the Division. Responsibilities would focus on support to the Programmes Branch. The working environment is busy. Routine preparation is required as well as the management of the inevitable issues arising in a dynamic academic environment. There is much interaction with the Faculty and Staff in order to deliver the courses. The curriculum is a very topical, focussing on the current strategic political/military issues concerning the Alliance. There is ample opportunity to listen to the high quality external lecturers.
A very good level of English language proficiency is required. Knowledge of French and/or Italian would also be of benefit but is not essential.

Curriculum Planning Branch (CPB)

The Curriculum Planning Branch is responsible for developing and implementing the academic curriculum of the NDC Senior Course and other short courses. The work of the Branch involves an in-depth preparation of the courses from the determination of the educational methods to the overall organization and administration of the study modules/short courses (lecturer and participant selection, administrative support, post-course evaluations, etc.) Interns working within the Branch will be involved in the practical preparation of the study modules (contact with, and support to, the participants, document preparation and general assistance to the Branch Head and the Branch Assistants). The majority of the intern’s work will relate to the preparation for the Generals, Flag Officers, & Ambassadors’ Course (GFOAC) and Modular Short Courses (MSCs). Candidates applying for internships within this branch should demonstrate excellent organizational skills, a team oriented work approach, flexibility, excellent communication and inter-personal skills, and a determination to achieve results. A very good level of English language proficiency is mandatory. Knowledge of French and/or Italian would also be of benefit but is not essential.

Public Affairs Office (PAO)

The mission of the NDC Public Affairs Office is to support the Commandant and the College communicating accurate information in a timely manner to audiences to improve public awareness and understanding of the role, aims, missions, activities and issues, thereby enhancing organizational credibility. Audiences can be allied, international, regional, local or internal, depending on the issue or activity.

The Public Affairs Office deals with the main protocol events at the NDC, it is also responsible for developing a working relationship with media representatives, official contact with foreign embassies and for keeping internal and external audience informed on issues about the College and NATO. An essential avenue used to maintain and build contact with the audience is via the social media and audio-visual tools, being Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

Candidates applying for internships within the PAO will be required to:

  • edit marketing and advertising videos about the NDC, and NDC activities and events; and provide professional knowledge of Premier Pro and other film editing programmes;
  • write articles for the NDC's website about main events going on at the College;
  • plan, organize, and coordinate protocol for significant events at the College;
  • establish and maintain contacts and guests lists for all protocol events;
  • attend functions at the College to welcome guests and provide guidance;
  • draft telegrams, faxes, e-mails and formal letters in English and occasionally Italian;
  • draft/prepare Operational Orders for upcoming events and high level visits;
  • be responsible for the NDC’s presence on the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube);
  • organize and maintain PAO's archives.

The candidate is required to be familiar with social media tools.

A very good level of English language proficiency is required. Knowledge of Italian is highly appreciated.


Interns will receive a lump sum of 800 EUR per month. The payment is not exempt from taxation by the candidate's original country.


Interns must have health insurance cover, and will be required to sign a certificate confirming such cover.


Interns will keep the same hours of work and have the same official public holidays as other NDC staff members. After three months of service interns shall be entitled to leave (including sick leave) at the rate of 2.5 days for every month of service completed. Any accumulated untaken leave will not be paid.


At the end of the internship, the Hosting Division/Branch will provide the intern with certification, which will include an evaluation of his/her work.


Interns are required to comply with the necessary formalities with the Italian authorities regarding their stay in Italy, such as VISA and Residence Permit (Permesso di soggiorno – approx. € 200.-).

Current students and recent graduates with:

  • Age: Candidates must be at least 21 and not older than 30 years at the time of internship.
  • Nationality: Nationals of a NATO member state.
  • Studies: Current students (at least two years of university study) or recent graduates (degree obtained no longer than 12 months ago).
  • Languages: Proficiency in English; desirable working knowledge of French.

All interns will require a security clearance from their national authorities prior to working at NATO. The procedure will be initiated as soon as the candidate has been selected.


Applicants must send:

  1. - Internship application form: (Available here when the calling period is open)
  2. - Curriculum Vitae
  3. - One-page motivational essay

to: recruitment.internship@ndc.nato.int

Please note that the number of applications submitted to the NDC makes it possible for us to contact only short-listed candidates.
Please refer to the “current status” of the Internship on our Jobs page at Job Opportunities, Fellowships & Internships


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