The FCO has established a number of initiatives offering students an insight into careers in the Foreign Office.
The Overseas Undergraduate Attachment Scheme
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers a limited number of short term attachments to overseas posts for undergraduates in their penultimate year who are seriously considering a career as either an economist, policy or operational entrant in the Diplomatic Service. The attachments last between two weeks and two months and are available only during the summer vacation period. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will cover all costs of return flights/visas to Posts. Accommodation will also be provided. Students are asked to cover their living expenses while on placement, however Posts will try to provide pocket money where possible. In 2000/2001, we arranged 52 placements world-wide and received almost 400 applications. Application forms for summer 2003 placements will be available from 1 October 2002. Follow the link for further information Overseas Undergraduate Attachment Scheme .
Work Experience Scheme for 16 and 17 year-olds
We currently run a work experience scheme each year for 16 to 17 year-old students who are seriously considering a career in the Diplomatic Service. The scheme takes place twice a year, for two weeks in July (15th – 26th in 2002) and during the October half term. Successful candidates are placed in various departments of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London. Students will have the opportunity to play a role in the day to day running of an FCO department as well as carrying out their own research on a topical foreign policy issue. This year’s topic was climate change. Students will have plenty of opportunity to talk to members of staff to gain an overview of the work of the Diplomatic Service.
Many people believe that the FCO only focuses on Public School and Oxbridge. This is simply not true. There are 10 places available in both July and October and the FCO welcomes applicants from schools all over the UK. The FCO will pay for a return ticket to London from each student’s home and travel to work during the placement. The FCO will also provide students with £10 a day to cover food and incidentals. However we cannot take responsibility for the welfare of the students outside of the FCO buildings, therefore students will need to make their own accommodation arrangements with friends or relatives to enable them to work in our London offices.
Applications for the 2002 work experience scheme have now closed. We will be unable to provide any information on your application until March 2002, when the selection process will be completed.
Windsor Fellowship Sponsorship Programme
The Windsor Fellowship is a management-training organisation that provides training programmes to students from ethnic minority backgrounds. The FCO is sponsoring two students this year including a two-month paid work experience placement in London, during the summer. Further information about these programmes can be obtained direct from the Windsor Fellowship on 020 7613 0373.
Career Briefing Sessions
We hold short career briefing sessions at the FCO in London on the last Friday of every month, except December. The aim of these sessions (which last about 90 minutes) is to give those considering a career in the Diplomatic Service a general understanding of the organisation, the type of work undertaken by its officers and to explain the recruitment procedures. If you would like to attend, please call 020 7008 0762 to reserve a place on the next available session.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office,
Rm 2/98, Old Admiralty Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2PA
Telephone 020 7008 0762
We welcome applications from women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.