Internship Opportunities Related to East Asia

Many thanks to Wesleyan East Asian Studies alum Sean Connell and Arie Eernisse for putting together the original version of this list. The nature of the web is such that some of this information will need to be updated regularly; if you notice a broken link (and especially if you can tell us the correct link), or have suggestions of new resources to include, please contact the CEAS office and let us know!

If you have a LinkedIn account you can join the LinkedIn group for graduates of (and current students in) the College of East Asian Studies and East Asian Studies Program. Its main goal is to help students and alumni find jobs and internships. In LinkedIn, first access "groups" by clicking on the work grid on the top right-hand corner. You should then be able to type in the group name: College of East Asian Studies Wesleyan University and request to join.

The following is a list of U.S. government agencies, foreign government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and business organizations and trade associations that focus on Asia or have Asia-related programs of work.  This list is intended to be a resource for Wesleyan College of East Asian Studies majors who are conducting research or investigating Asia-related internship and employment opportunities.  The majority of the agencies and organizations listed here are located in Washington, DC, and New York, though some are located in Asia.

Many government offices and NGOs listed below have information regarding internship and employment opportunities posted on their websites.  Please note that the vast majority of these internships are unpaid.  Organizations that do not list internship opportunities on their websites may still accept interns; contact those organizations directly to inquire.

U.S. Government:

U.S. Department of State:

  • The State Department has an unpaid internship program at its headquarters in Washington, DC, and at select U.S. embassies and consulates overseas.  The application process is competitive and includes a security clearance.  Detailed information is available on the State Department’s website.

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative:

  • USTR, which is located within the Executive Office of the President, is the primary U.S. government agency responsible for developing U.S. trade policy and negotiating U.S. trade agreements.  Some internship opportunities may be available.

U.S. Department of Commerce:

U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (FCS):

  • FCS represents Commerce at U.S. embassies overseas and also in cities across the United States.  Some U.S. embassies offer internship opportunities, including the following:

FCS Internship Opportunities:

U.S. Department of the Treasury: 


USDA Foreign Agricultural Service International Internships:

  • USDA offers some internships at U.S. embassies overseas, including in Asia.  Please note that these internships are not available in 2008, but may be open in the future.

Central Intelligence Agency:  

Defense Intelligence Agency:  

  • Internship opportunities are available at the CIA and DIA.  Applicants will be required to go through a security clearance.


Congressional-Executive Commission on China:

  • The Commission offers internships that are primarily geared at graduate students but, according to the commission's website, open to undergraduates as well.

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission:


Foreign Government Entities:

Foreign Embassies

  • Some foreign embassies offer internship opportunities in Washington, DC.  Contact embassies directly for information about potential internship opportunities.

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO): 

  • JETRO, which is affiliated with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) works to bring together U.S. and Japanese businesses, and to encourage U.S. companies to invest in Japan.  JETRO’s largest U.S. office is in New York, but it also maintains offices in many large U.S. cities.  Contact JETRO directly to inquire about possible internship opportunities.

Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Authority (KOTRA):

  • KOTRA serves a similar role as JETRO and also maintains offices across the United States.  Contact KOTRA directly to inquire about possible internship opportunities.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office:  

Korea Center for International Finance (KCIF):

  • KCIF is a New York-based office of the Korean Ministry of Planning and Budget and provides financial risk assessment to the Korean government.


Non-Governmental Organizations/Think Tanks:

Asia Foundation:

  • The Asia Foundation supports programs in Asia that help improve governance, law, and civil society; women's empowerment; economic reform and development; and international relations.  It is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains offices in Washington, DC and overseas.  Internships/fellowships are available. 

Asia Society:

  • The Asia Society works to promote greater understanding between the United States and Asian countries, with a strong focus on cultural exchange.  The Asia Society also holds corporate programs.  Its headquarters are in New York and it maintains offices in other major U.S. cities.

Brookings Institute:

  • The Brookings Institute has an active program of work on Asia.  Many internships at Brookings are taken by graduate-level students, but opportunities for undergraduates might also be available.

Center for Strategic and International Studies:

  • CSIS has an active program of work on Asia and particularly on Japan, China, and security issues.  Many internships are taken by graduate-level students, but opportunities for undergraduates might also be available.

East-West Center:

National Bureau of Asian Research:

  • Asia-focused think tank based in Seattle.  Internship opportunities are available.

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation:

  • Washington, DC-based think tank (with offices in Missoula, Montana, and Tokyo) focusing on Asia, with particular strength on Japan and Korea.  Internship opportunities are available.

Heritage Foundation:

  • The Heritage Foundation has an active program of work on Asia and international trade.  Its headquarters are located in Washington, DC.  Internship opportunities are available. 

Stimson Center:

  • The Henry L. Stimson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to enhancing international peace and security.

U.S.-Asia Institute:

  • Washington, DC-based non-governmental organization that promotes awareness of Asia through facilitating visits by members of Congress/congressional staff.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

  • The Carnegie Endowment has a prestigious and competitive junior fellow program that focuses on 4-5 different topics. One of them is usually China-related. Applications for this program, however, are due in the fall.  

Peterson Institute for International Economics: 

  • One of the world’s leading think tanks on international economics and trade issues; located in Washington, DC.

American Enterprise Institute:

  • AEI has an active program of work on Asia.  Its headquarters are located in Washington, DC.


Japan Society:

  • Based in New York, the Japan Society is the leading U.S. organization promoting the overall U.S.-Japan relationship.  The Japan Society organizes cultural and business programs.

U.S.-Japan Foundation (including U.S.-Japan Leadership Program:

  • The U.S.-Japan Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking foundation that works improve understanding between the U.S. and Japan.

Sasakawa Peace Foundation:

  • The Sasakawa Peace Foundation works to promote mutual understanding between the United States and Japan and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.


Korea Economic Institute:

  • KEI is the Washington, DC affiliate of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, a Korean government-funded think tank.  KEI works to promote greater understanding of Korea in the United States through university programs, publications, and Congressional outreach.  Some internship opportunities available.

Korea Society:

  • Based in New York, the Korea Society is the leading U.S. organization promoting the overall U.S.-Korea relationship.  The Korea Society organizes cultural and business programs, and also is engaged in activities to promote exchanges between the United States and North Korea.

U.S.-Korea Institute (SAIS): 

  • This institute, located within Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC, works to promote awareness of Korea through a lecture series and regular programs.

U.S. Commission for Human Rights in North Korea:

  • The Committee is the preeminent private, bi-partisan organization in the United States focused on human rights issues in North Korea.

National Committee on North Korea:

  • The National Committee on North Korea advances, promotes and facilitates engagement between citizens of the United States and North Korea.


Mongolia Society:  


Business Organizations/Trade Associations:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

  • World’s largest business federation, located in Washington, DC.  The Chamber has active programs of work on East Asia and India, and on trade education.  Limited internship opportunities are available.

National Association of Manufacturers:

Coalition of Service Industries:

  • NAM and CSI are actively engaged on Asia trade-related issues.  Internship opportunities may be available.

Bilateral Business Councils:

There are several bilateral business councils between the United States and Asian countries, all of which are based in Washington, DC.  These private-sector organizations work to promote two-way trade between the U.S. and specific countries/economic regions and advance policies that facilitate this.  Limited internship opportunities are available; contact the councils directly for more information.

U.S.-China Business Council:

U.S.-Korea Business Council: www.uskoreacouncil.or 

U.S.-Japan Business Council:

U.S.-ASEAN Business Council: 

  • The U.S.-ASEAN Business Council focuses on the member economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and others.

U.S.-India Business Council:

U.S.-Taiwan Business Council: 

North America-Mongolia Business Council:

National Center for APEC:

  • The National Center for APEC is located in Seattle and focuses on the member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization.

American Chambers of Commerce Overseas:

In most Asian countries, American Chambers of Commerce (“AMCHAMs”) have been established to represent the U.S. business community in each country on economic policy issues.  Some may provide internship opportunities, particularly for students who are native speakers of or fluent in the national language of their particular country.

American Chamber of Commerce in Japan:

American Chamber of Commerce in Korea:

  • AMCHAM Korea has internship opportunities for students who are fluent speakers of Korean.

American Chambers of Commerce in China:

American Chambers in Southeast Asia:

Foreign Business Associations:


  • Nippon Keidanren is Japan’s largest business federation and is headquartered in Tokyo.  It maintains an office in Washington, DC, and offers an internship program.

Federation of Korean Industries:

  • FKI represents Korea’s leading 400 corporations and is headquartered in Seoul.  It may offer internship opportunities for Korean citizens.  FKI also maintains an office in Washington, DC.

Korea International Trade Association:

  • KITA represents small/medium-size Korean trading companies and maintains its headquarters in Seoul, with offices in New York and Washington, DC.

Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

  • Korea’s largest business organization, located in Seoul.

Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the U.S.A.:

  • Association of Korean companies with operations in the United States; located in New York City. 


State/Local-level Resources:

State Governments:

U.S. state governments generally conduct international trade-related initiatives through state government departments focused on commerce or economic development.  Several states maintain overseas trade promotion offices in countries including Japan, China, Korea, and Singapore.  More information is available through state government websites.

World Affairs Councils/World Trade Centers:

Many states and major cities are home to a World Affairs Council (focused on international affairs) and/or a World Trade Center (focused on international trade and commerce). 

State/Local Chambers of Commerce:

Some state- and city-level chambers of commerce have international trade programs.   


Cultural Resources and Centers:

Japan Information and Culture Center (Embassy of Japan):

  • Public information and cultural outreach branch of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC; holds regular lecture series and events.

KORUS House:

  • Public information and cultural outreach branch of the Korean Embassy in Washington, DC; holds regular lecture series and events.

Sejong Society: 

  • Washington, DC-based organization of young professionals with interest in Korea issues; regular programs.

Japan-America Society of Washington, DC:

U.S.-Indonesia Society: