The Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) program is the State Department’s virtual eInternship program for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students. The program harnesses technology and a commitment to global service among young people to facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement. eInternships are for the duration of an academic year running from fall through spring semesters.
Virtual eInternships involve work that is done entirely remotely and through a computer. eInterns do not report to a physical work location at the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Commercial Service, Broadcasting Board of Governors or U.S. diplomatic posts abroad. Instead, eInterns work on projects from their dorm room, apartment, academic institution or other location determined by the student.
Interested U.S. citizen undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students can apply to up to three new positions between July 2-20, 2013 on USAJobs. Available positions are posted on state.gov/vsfs. Interviews will be conducted in August and students will be notified in early September if there is a match. Security clearances are not required. A résumé, unofficial or official transcript or proof of enrollment, and statement of interest will be required as part of the application package.
Selected eInterns will be invited to join a closed online community and will receive recognition from the State Department for successfully completing an eInternship.
VSFS eIntern duties and responsibilities will vary depending on the needs of the federal agency office or U.S. diplomatic post overseas and the types of VSFS projects identified. VSFS projects may involve research, contributing to reports on issues such as human rights, economics or the environment. Projects may also be more technology oriented such as working on web pages or helping produce electronic journals (see a list of current projects). Students are expected to dedicate an average of 10 hours per week on VSFS eInternship projects. Past projects included:
- Creating a forum for host country and American students to exchange their ideas, experience and knowledge about environmental advocacy
- Promoting student programs in the U.S. and civic engagement by using new media
- Identifying and using journalism trends to reach out to students and young journalists
- Expanding a post’s English learning and educational advising
- Creating lesson plans on environmental conservation for schools in remote areas of the country