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IMO Externship Programme

The Programme  

Occasionally the opportunity arises for the International Maritime Organization to accept talented students into unpaid roles as an extern, where they will earn practical experience in an office environment in exchange for credits towards their degree. Placed within a specific division of the Organization, externs are provided the opportunity to further their career development at IMO undethe supervision of experienced IMO officers.

 of the Programme

The primary purpose of the IMO externship programme is to allow the Organization to meet specific project outcomes and requirements that are distinct from the daily work of Secretariat staff. At the same time, the programme aims to enhance the professional development of students who are currently studying but also pursing real world workplace experience. While based at IMO, externs will gain professional experience alongside IMO experts and deal with a wide range of international issues within the context of a specialized agency of the United Nations.


Externs are only accepted for positions that are advertised in the Current Vacancies section at the top of this page. We do not accept general applications for externships on a random basis.

All externs must be enrolled in a university degree that is directly relevant to the role for which they are applying, as will be outlined in the vacancy description. Most importantly, an externship at IMO must count as academic credit for the extern in the course of completing their degree.


The duration of any externship will be provided in the vacancy description for the role that is being advertised. However, the duration should not normally last more than one term or semester. There should be no expectation of a renewal of the externship beyond that period by the extern, nor of any offer of formal employment at IMO upon completion of an externship.

Location and hours

IMO Headquarters is located in London at 4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR, United Kingdom. While at IMO, externs will be placed within the division under which they are recruited. Externs are expected to follow the working hours of the Organization and to be present between 9:00 am and 5:30 weekdays. 


Externs are responsible for obtaining and financing the necessary visas or other documents for entering the United Kingdom. The Organization will not assist in these processes.

Costs Incurred

Externships within IMO are unpaid. Externs are responsible for any costs incurred as part of their travel, insurance, accommodation and living expenses. As IMO accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during any externship, applicants are required to obtain health insurance coverage.


The acceptance of students for an externship at IMO is subject to the clear understanding that their stay does not entail financial implications, legal obligations or liabilities for the Organization.

Externs are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner compatible with a United Nations environment.