Local Time in Brussels: Print

Internship Program

The U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Mission to the European Union (CSEU)

The U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Mission to the European Union (CSEU) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  CSEU’s mission is to promote U.S. business interests in the European Union through advocacy, information dissemination, and cooperation with other Commercial Service posts throughout Europe and the world.  The U.S. Mission to the European Union is situated in the heart of Brussels, next door to the bilateral U.S. Embassy to Belgium, convenient to public transportation; the Arts-Loi Metro station is one block away.

I. Internship Program

The internship program at the CSEU in Brussels attracts interns from both graduate and undergraduate college/university programs from throughout the United States and Belgium.  This program is voluntary and uncompensated.  Although many interns find the experience valuable, there is no salary, no stipend, no expense allowances, and no housing available for interns.  Volunteer service is not creditable for leave or any other employee benefits.  Many interns receive academic credit from their educational institution for their internship at CSEU.

§ Office hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

§ Interns work 40 hours per week for a minimum of three months, although other arrangements may be possible on a case-by-case basis.

§ The U.S. Mission observes both US and Belgian national holidays.

II. Intern Responsibilities

Interns perform a variety of tasks at CSEU.  We work with interns to identify projects in policy areas and sectors that are both relevant to our stakeholders and of interest to the intern.  In all cases, interns will be integrated into the daily work of the American and Foreign Service National staff.   

Examples of tasks typically performed by interns:

§ Assist in the preparation of short, topical reports covering policy developments in the European Union that are of interest to U.S. exporters. 

§ Research and respond to incoming business inquiries from American firms about EU legislation/regulations.

§ Assist with planning / organization associated with high-level visitors and other events taking place during the internship.

§ Attend office and Mission staff meetings and external conferences.

III. Requirements

Interns must have either U.S. or EU citizenship.

§ English-language proficiency is required, European language skills are a bonus.

§ EU citizens must be enrolled in a Belgian University.

§ American citizens must be enrolled in a U.S. or Belgian University.

§ Computer skills are a prerequisite (Word, Excel, Internet) and advanced skills (html, database) are desirable.

§ Interns should be available for a minimum twelve weeks full time, although other arrangements may be possible on a case-by-case basis.

§ All applicants will be subject to a detailed background security check, which can take as long as four months to complete before the internship can begin.

§ Worldwide U.S. Government policy on interns is that they must be enrolled in full-time study courses. EU nationals must be enrolled at an institution located in Belgium.

§ You must advise us if you are seeking internships at other FCS offices so that we might coordinate our efforts.  Failure to do so will result in a termination of your consideration for an internship.

IV. Qualities we look for in an intern:

Self-starters who are willing to work generally unsupervised.

§ Commitment to quality work and public service

§ Genuine interest in international business and trade

§ Capable of drafting reports and correspondence in professional English

§ Familiar with the European Union, its countries and institutions

V. Procedures

Our internship program is competitive with many applicants, especially for the Summer period (May to September).  Thus, it is important to apply as early as possible for internships at the US Mission to the EU.  Availability during the most popular internship periods is limited, and the security clearance process can take up to 3 or 4 months.  Please plan accordingly.

Please note: Our office has met all our internship capacity through Summer 2014. We will post when Fall 2014 applications will be accepted.

VI. Application

Send a resume and cover letter expressing your interest and qualifications for an internship to Patricia.Gonzalez@trade.gov.

Make sure to address these aspects in your initial communication:
1. Your school, major(s), year, location - study abroad, etc.?
2. Your nationality; if not US citizen, your visa/immigration status if in the US
3. How long an internship are you looking for? Our minimum is three (3) months - full time basis, although other arrangements may be possible on a case-by-case basis.
4. What specific dates for an internship are you interested in? 
5. Would your internship at CSEU be for academic credit?  If so, what requirements does your academic institution impose?
6. Alternative dates/times when we could call you and the telephone number we should use to call you.

VII. Security Clearance

American Citizens

An internship at CSEU is contingent of receiving a security clearance from the US Department of Commerce Office of Security.  If accepted for an internship, you will be asked to complete, e-mail copies and mail the originals of the following documents required for a security clearance:

American citizens - please provide the following documents:
1. Current resumé
2. Volunteer Service Agreement (72KB) (signed by university and student)
3. Required Information Form.
4. Release Statement for Fair Credit Report.
5. Men only- Pre-Appointment Certification Statement (26KB)
6. OF-306 Declaration for Federal Employment
7. Copy of U.S. passport first page.

8. Proof of Medical Insurance (required) and Evacuation Insurance (recommended)

Note: Once these documents are received, the intern will be sent a fingerprint card to be completed and used for background check purposes. If studying overseas, the card can be mailed to the student's foreign address. However, completing the card while abroad will likely require a visit to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate, and an appointment must be made in advance. Please allow sufficient time if you will be completing this portion of the process abroad.  If studying in Belgium, the fingerprints can be taken at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels.

EU Citizens – Studying in Belgium

You will have an interview or conference call with Mrs. Patricia Gonzalez. Once accepted in the program, you will be contacted by one of our colleagues at the Human Resources Department who will provide you with specific instructions regarding the background check process.

For more information, contact Mrs. Patricia Gonzalez at Patricia.Gonzalez@trade.gov.