Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the most common questions we receive regarding internships. Your question not covered here? Please contact us and we will do our best to answer you quickly.

How good does my English need to be?
As the working language of the OPCW, interns must be completely at ease with both spoken and written English in order to participate as required in assigned projects. However, the OPCW is a very diverse organisation with employees from over eighty countries & there is absolutely no requirement for English to be one’s mother tongue.

Do I need to be able to speak any other languages?
The OPCW has five official languages other than English: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. Whilst knowledge of one of these is a desirable asset it is not a requirement as all routine business of the OPCW is conducted in English.

Do I need to be a citizen of a CWC signatory state?
Yes. All employees of the OPCW must be citizens of country that has signed on to the Chemical Weapons Convention. See this list of signatory countries to determine if you are eligible.

Can the OPCW help with visa applications?
Yes. The Visa & Protocol Branch of OPCW will provide the necessary assistance to any intern needing to procure a visa if required. Interns from within the European Union will not need to complete this process.

Will I hear from the OPCW if my application is unsuccessful?
No. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

Does the OPCW provide any financial assistance for interns?
A monthly stipend of 450 euros will be paid to participants of the Internship Programme only, provided that the intern is not a child of an OPCW staff member or delegate to the Conference of States Parties. Payment is subject to monthly certification of service by the intern's supervisor.

The OPCW provides no financial assistance towards the cost of visa, travel, accommodation or general living expenses incurred during the placement.

Do I need to have my own medical insurance?
Yes. Since you will not be insured under the medical insurance scheme provided to OPCW staff members, you will need to have your own medical insurance that includes coverage in the territory of The Netherlands.

Can the OPCW help me with the practicalities of relocating to The Hague?
The OPCW has no scheme in place for helping interns relocate & interns are responsible for finding their own accommodation during their time in The Hague. However, the Human Resources Branch will do their best to assist with any general questions arising or alternatively will facilitate contact with current interns whose experiences might be relevant.

What kind of supervision can I expect?
All interns will have a supervisor within their section to assist with orientation on arrival and to provide guidance and structure on projects undertaken throughout the placement. The OPCW recognises that for many interns this will be their first experience of a professional working environment and will therefore ensure that appropriate supervision is always available. Supervisors will also ensure that interns have the tools necessary to work effectively. All interns will be provided with a fully equipped work station & personal system login.