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Internships with USCS Australia

Thank you for your interest in an internship with the U.S. Commercial Service in Australia. Our Sydney office offers internship opportunities to American and Australian students throughout the year.  PLEASE NOTE: Applications for Summer 2014 are now open.

Please read the below information thoroughly to ensure you qualify for this program and that you have enough time for your application to be processed.  Do not submit any forms until instructed by our Intern Coordinator that your application has been successful.

Contents:

Who is eligible?

What will I do?

Are internships only available during the U.S. summer?

Will I be paid?

Can I work while in Australia?

How much money will I need?

Will I have insurance?

I qualify – How do I apply?

If successful, what next?

How long does the process take?

Who is eligible?

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In order to participate you must meet the following qualifications: 

  • United States or Australian citizenship 
  • Students currently enrolled in a college/university or those who have been accepted in a school for the quarter/semester following the internship.  Students must be returning to complete their education following the internship
  • An internship must be a mandatory course requirement if you are studying at an Australian university/college
  • Students undertaking a gap year between courses are ineligible.
  • Long-term availability: minimum six weeks, preferably 40 hours per week (or 240 hours part time).
  • Excellent written and oral communication abilities and computer skills.

Graduate students of international relations, international economics and international business will benefit most from an internship with the Commercial Service.

Selection is made without regard to considerations of ethnicity, color, religion, sex, marital status, or handicap. Potential interns must receive a positive security check by the U.S. Government prior to the start of an internship.

What will I do?

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The U.S. Commercial Service assists U.S. companies entering the Australian market and helps Australian firms in their efforts to represent American companies, utilize American products, or find joint venture partners. To support these objectives, the office analyzes information on the Australian market, facilitates contacts with Australian businesses, promotes U.S. products in Australia, and advocates for U.S. business interests.

Intern duties vary, but can include:

 
  • conducting market research
  • assisting companies seeking information
  • identifying Australian agents and distribution for American companies
  • assisting Australian companies seeking information on American exporters
  • organizing Trade Missions
  • managing commercial events and other official functions
  • revising the "Country Commercial Guide"
  • hosting this website
  • administrative work

cific 2010

(Pictured above at the Pacific 2010 trade event L-R: Intern Thuy Van Nguyen, U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, Commercial Counsel David Murphy, Commercial Clerk Virginia Dominguez and Snr. Commercial Specialist Phil Keeling).

 

 

Are internships only available during the U.S. summer?

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No, internships are available to Australian and U.S. students all year round either:

  • on a full- time basis, 40 hours per week for a minimum of six weeks as part of your degree program or during the U.S. summer
  • on a part-time basis for a minimum total of 240 hours while studying in Australia - this can also be a combination of full-time and part-time.
  • Note: for students at Australian universities, an internship must be a course requirement to qualify.

Will I be paid?

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No. Federal regulations prohibit financial compensation. Upon completion of the internship, an official letter of recommendation can be provided and many universities will award academic credit for your work.

Can I work while in Australia?

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The Business Short Stay Visa does not permit applicants to work in Australia. Additionally, when applying for your visa, you may need to provide proof of having sufficient funds to support yourself while in Australia.

Note: this will differ for students planning to study in Australia.  Your visa will be arranged in conjunction with your University and will fall under different regulations.

How much money will I need?

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Past interns have indicated you would need approximately US$400 a week. About 3/4 goes into rent/utilities and food.  Sydney is an expensive city, especially when it comes to dining out, this may be a good opportunity to advance those culinary skills!

Cara’s Living in Sydney Tips 2013

Lizzie’s Living in Sydney Tips. 2012

Will I have insurance?

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Unfortunately, no federal government insurance can be provided and no federal government liability is assumed.

I qualify - How do I apply?

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  • A cover letter addressing why you want to be an intern, your future goals, what you have to offer the Foreign Commercial Service, and how you hope to benefit from the internship, addressing your correspondence to Mr. Joe Kaesshaefer, Senior Commercial Officer office.australia@trade.gov ;
  • Copy of academic transcript and resume. The resume should include your past academic and work experience, computer skills, career goals, citizenship, and student status;
  • A sample of your writing ability;
  • Exact months that you will be available. The minimum requirement is 6 weeks, this can either be full time or part time.

If successful, what next?

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Once your application has been accepted, you will need to submit a range of paperwork. The forms, available in the Successful Applicants section, must be forwarded to our intern coordinator who will clear your application with the Regional Office of Security at Post before forwarding to the Office of Foreign Service Human Relations (OFSHR) in Washington. NOTE: you must receive favorable security clearances before you can commence your internship and also be in possession of a valid Australian visa. It is recommended that you have these documents in place prior to departing the USA.

How long does the process take?

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Applications can take up to two months to process and cannot be dated/submitted any earlier than 4 months (120 days) prior to your proposed commencement date.

Please ensure you have enough time before submitting your application.