Virtual Student Foreign Service
To see the original information on the US Department of State site, please follow this link.
The Virtual Student Foreign Service is part of a growing effort by the State Department to harness technology and a commitment to global service among young people to facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement. Working from college and university campuses in the United States and throughout the world, eInterns (American students working virtually) are partnered with our U.S. diplomatic posts overseas and State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and the U.S. Commercial Service domestic offices to conduct digital diplomacy that reflects the realities of our networked world. Thisintroductory video provides an overview of the VSFS program.
The application period for the 2013-2014 VSFS eInternship program is closed. Students can apply for the 2014-2015 program through USAJobs in July 2014. This year, 511 students are virtually interning on 276 projects with eight federal agencies.
VSFS eIntern duties and responsibilities will vary according to the location and needs of the VSFS projects identified at the sponsoring domestic or overseas diplomatic office. VSFS projects may be research based, contributing to reports on issues such as human rights, economics or the environment. They may also be more technology oriented, such as working on web pages, or helping produce electronic journals. Selected students are expected to work virtually on an average of 5-10 hours per week on VSFS eInternship projects. Students apply in the summer and if selected, begin the eInternship that fall lasting through spring. Most work and projects are internet-based and some have language requirements. Past projects asked students to:
- Develop and implement a public relations campaign using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc. to communicate and reach out to youth
- Conduct research on the economic situation, prepare graphic representations of economic data, and prepare informational material for the U.S. Embassy website
- Create a system to gather and analyze media coverage on a set of topics including environment, health, and trade
- Research IT-based interventions that have been successful in higher education, particularly in teacher training
- Write and contribute biweekly articles to the U.S. Embassy’s Facebook page on topics such as internet, computer science/technology, history, and literature
- Develop a series of professional instructional video clips to be published by the U.S. Embassy
- Survey social media efforts of U.S. diplomatic posts, NGOs, and private companies around the world to help establish best practices in a U.S. Embassy’s social media outreach business plan.