Frequently Asked Questions

Here is some information that might be useful during your preparation for an internship with IOM in Geneva.

Interns at IOM
The number of interns may vary, with an average of 10 to 15 interns working in various divisions at any given period of time. Generally speaking, interns tend to be students approaching the end of their programme or graduates between 19 and 32 years of age.

What kind of visa do I need for an internship for IOM?
You will only need an entry visa to Switzerland. For a work permit, IOM will make a request for you once you arrive in Geneva. If your country is exempted from an entry visa, you can just arrive without any paperwork. If you need to apply for an entry visa, IOM will provide you with a support letter, which you can attach to your visa application to a Swiss consulate.

Where to stay?
Expect to invest some time in finding a place to stay. For interns the choice of housing tends to be as follows:

  • Option 1: Renting a room in a students' residence (CHF 300-800 per month). There are a number of residences, or student/youth accommodation in Geneva. Many interns working for UN and International Organizations also stay here.
  • Option 2: Renting a room in a flat/apartment (min. CHF 500 per month). Advertisement for a room in a flat can be obtained through the university accommodation service, and notice boards of international organizations (WHO, ILO and UN Headquarters). Newspapers sometimes carry advertisements for flat sharing.
  • Option 3: Renting your own flat/studio (min. CHF 700 per month). One way to rent a flat is through real estate agencies. Switzerland has a particular system where you have to apply for an apartment and must be selected from a number of other applicants. This means that you have to wait for few weeks until the decision is taken.

    Another way to rent a place is through sub-letting (renting an apartment form someone who will be away for a short period). Some people go on temporary missions abroad and sublet their apartments for a short period. Information can be also found on the notice board of international organizations.

How do I get to IOM by public transport?
There are several buses that can bring you to IOM. Bus 18 & F will drop you off at the Vie-des-Champs bus stop, which is right next to the IOM building. You can also take Bus 8 to B.I.T. From this bus stop, IOM is a 3 minute walk uphill and on your right. You can catch Bus F and Bus 8 from Cornavin (train station) and Bus 28 from the Palais des Nations.

Will I get a job afterward?
IOM evaluates interns who may eventually be included in the roster for future external vacancies and/or short-term assignments. In general, interns are considered external candidates and can apply for vacancies that are open to external candidates during and after their assignment.