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Overseas Student Volunteer Internship with the Commercial Service in the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea (주한 미국 대사관, 상무부 인턴쉽)

Email to: office.seoul@trade.gov
Feb 28, 2019


The U.S. Department of Commerce (Commercial Service) located in the U.S. Embassy, Seoul has for more than 10 years conducted one of Korea’s most successful internship programs. To date, we have hosted over 200 interns.

Our program is designed for students who are either U.S. or non-U.S. citizens. At this time, we are selecting only U.S. citizens. The program benefits both the embassy and students by providing the students with valuable educational experience in U.S. Missions and by assisting posts in accomplishing their mission goals.

No compensation or benefits are offered in connection with program, but we do provide a meaningful, constructive, positive working environment that will assist you as you prepare for professional employment.

We hope that you will consider submitting an application.

Sincerely yours,
Commercial Service/U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Embassy, Seoul, South Korea


  • Undergraduate or graduate students;
  • Strong computer skills;
  • Fluency in both Korean and English;
  • Some international or commercial experience is highly recommended but not mandatory/required;
  • Ability to: work in teams; learn quickly; and multi-task under pressure;
  • Pass an interview panel and a three-month background security investigation;
  • Maturity.

This position is voluntary and unpaid.

2019 Summer Internship Period: May – August 2019, but flexible, not limited to the period

Your Application Packet Should Contain

  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Educational background including month and year you graduated or will graduate from your current academic institution
  • Korean and English fluency levels: Spoken, Written and Reading
  • Previous work or internship experience if any
  • Contact information including telephone numbers and email addresses where we can easily reach you
  • Citizenship: U.S. citizens
  • Supporting information: resume and cover letter (required), letter of recommendation (optional, but recommended) and industrial preferences (recommended)
  • Please give us an idea of some of the industrial or commercial areas of interest that you have. For example, chemicals, education, consumer products, environment products, medical, IT industry, transportation, construction, tourism and etc.

Please send the above information and introductory cover letter via email to:

Intern Coordinator
Email: Office.Seoul@trade.gov
Deadline: Feb 28, 2019

Benefits of an Internship with CS Korea


  • You’ll work closely with an experienced and dedicated commercial specialist who will mentor you and afford you opportunities to participate in both normal and high profile events with US and Korean company executives.
  • CS Interns are respected as young professionals and have real international trade assistant responsibilities. As a result, CS Korea interns have a high learning curve and gain valuable experience in a professional work environment.
  • CS interns participate in numerous events and activities to include events at the U. S. Ambassador's residence, and other high-profile events.
  • CS interns will learn professional ethics and protocol and will network with numerous business entities and will form lifelong friendships with their class of interns, while having fun.

What You Will Learn


  • Learn to conduct independent market research and draft quality reports in English will that offer professional industry insight to U.S. companies.
  • Gain effective cross-culture communication skills.
  • Learn how to multi-task; how to plan and execute a trade event.
  • Interns will be exposed to a business environment where they learn to perform under pressure while remaining composed, competent, and organized. Tasks often require very fast turn-around time, and will require quick, on-the-ground, thinking.

Comments from Previous Interns

The following are comments from previous interns about their internship experience with the U.S. Commercial Service in Korea:

“When you hear the word ‘intern’ what comes to your mind first? A person scurrying for coffee and papers? Or a person chasing after constant telephone rings and facing battles with an old copy machine? If you find yourself worrying about managing all those tedious chores, you are more than welcome to dispel such ideas once you set foot in the U.S. Commercial Service Korea. Here you will be involved in a host of eye-widening experiences. You will be exposed to a world of researching, composing reports, preparing for meetings from beginning to end, and networking with not only officers and interns within the Embassy but also business people from both Korean and American firms. When you leave the Embassy, don’t get too overwhelmed by how much you have grown up!” – Kim, Mi Rae/ Yonsei University/ Intern, Winter 2010 – Spring 2011

“If you are seeking to broaden your views and perspectives in the ‘real business world’, I can tell you that this internship will present you with the complete guide to embarking on your future career. You will be put in charge of so many different tasks ranging from producing marketing materials to drafting market feasibility reports that will eventually be viewed by high-profile business people. As a CS Korea intern, I can assure you that there will never be a dull moment as you will learn how to efficiently multitask and prioritize your given tasks under the guidance of the Commercial Specialist.

I am very proud of the fact that my small contribution and commitment have created some positive outcomes for both Korea and U.S. businesses; no doubt you will learn and do the same once you join CS Korea as an intern. Jo, Yu Jin / Busan University of Foreign Studies / Intern, Winter – Spring 2012

Here, unlike other internship programs, I could get involved in a variety of projects and events with more responsibility and freedom. I was fortunate to have had an opportunity to contribute to a state trade mission by working closely with my specialist, designing the whole process of the meetings, preparing market research for seven different US companies, and participating in conference calls to narrow down their business goals. The most challenging part for me was to engage in the project as a real professional at the forefront of trade between two countries, but I have overcome all challenges with self-confidence and pride.

As a college senior, I had never thought about meeting the President of the United States in person. I had never thought about exchanging my name card with the representatives from different states. I had never thought about participating in meetings with high level people from a number of companies. The U.S. Commercial Service made it all happen. For the last six months, my days were filled with many colorful experiences and memorable lessons. I have learned what to expect in a real business world, and I have learned to put theories into practice. Now I work with broader perspective and see things from different angles. – Lee, Ji Hoon, Hanyang University – 2012 Spring-Summer Internship


Summer-Fall 2014 / Joan Kim, Senior / Ewha Womans University

My 6 months in CS Korea, U.S. Embassy was a very long and worthwhile period full of real professional experience. As an intern of CS Korea, I had chances to prepare and participate in numerous business meetings and all the events followed by the visit of the Secretary of Commerce. Those experiences were very challenging at the moment but were truly a special opportunity that I would have never experienced in any other internships. I am very thankful for all the opportunities and duties that I had as an intern in U.S. Embassy, and I am certain that this internship will have impact in my life for the next 60 years, as it was mentioned in the recruitment.

Summer-Fall 2014 / Sin-Ye Sung, Senior / Seoul National University

Closely working with the energy specialist for six months, I was imbued with not only comprehensive knowledge on energy sector, but also valuable work ethics, a sense of responsibility, and genuine interest in the particular area. I vividly recall the moment when about 40 business meetings with executive members of both US and Korean energy companies were held in just two days during the Trade Mission with Secretary Penny Pritzker. Without the challenge, I would still be uncertain on how to concentrate my time, energy and insights to achieve certain important tasks. Moreover, every single workday was spent with nine other interns filling the office, albeit in different sectors. Getting to know and cherish each other was certainly one of the most amazing parts of this internship as most sincere appreciation, encouragement, and love came from such relationships. After the six months of internship, I am now delineating my future plans as a better experienced person.

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