During the academic year it became apparent that a great many students is interested in participating in an internship at an international organisation or in a summer course on international law.
Both international internships and summer courses can, if thoroughly prepared and carefully selected, form an important and interesting supplement to your study. For an internship with an international organisation one may add that some professional experience can also be gained, whereas legal summer courses may add to your theoretical knowledge of (international) law in general or a specific topic within the field. Next to the international experience and meetings, such an activity can also offer you a comparative advantage for your future, both on a personal and on a professional level. This will be advantageous no matter what your plans upon completing your studies are, but especially if you wish to continue in international law, when it may even be a requirement.
Below you will find a limited overview of interships. The offer of internships at international organisations is extensive and varied (much more than is apparent from below). The length of the internship may vary from a few weeks to half a year or even longer. Some internships are reasonably or even well-paid, whereas with others you may find you have to sponsor yourself. The nature of the work that will be expected from you is also very different depending on where you find yourself performing. Some internships are on a look-and-learn base, whereas others give you your own tasks and responsibilities. Finally, the demands made of the interns vary. Fortunately, it is not the case that one is required to be an expert in international law for every internship. The usual expectations are good (or very good) academic results, international experience (ERASMUS, exchanges, etc), knowledge of foreign languages (especially English), and a sincere interest for the field of activities of the organisation or department concerned. In some cases special skills (computer literacy, languages) or knowledge (of economics, trade law, environmental law, Human Rights, etc) is required. Generally, though, one can say that finding an interesting internship or attending a good summer course is dependent on your own enthusiasm, qualities and interests.
The same goes for finding the necessary financial means. Unfortunately, KU Leuven can only be of very limited assistance as far as the latter is concerned. There are options to acquire support for an internship from the Flemish Government. To this end the Flanders Trainee Programme has been established. Please click here for an up-to-date overview of available internships. The Flemish Government also has a Facebook-page on which internships are regularly announced.
Below you will mostly be referred to the relevant websites.
For summer courses, click here.
Court of Justice:
Other European Organizations
Council of Europe
UN Secretariat New York
UN 2013 Young Professionals Programme
International Financial and Economic Institutions
Other international institutions
Permanent Court of Arbitration
International Commission of Jurists
World Jurist Association
Human Rights Watch
WFUNA (World Federation on United Nations Associations)
See also: http://www.asil.org/internships.cfm