Now accepting applications for the 2023 International Exchange Program!

IEP Intern Application

Please read this page carefully before submitting an application

World Heritage USA, the United States Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, is seeking graduate students and emerging professionals specialized in historic preservation and heritage conservation to participate in an International Exchange Program (IEP) during the summer of 2023. Interns will be assigned to a 10-12 week, practical working internship, under professional supervision, with a public or private nonprofit heritage organization. These positions are for interns with an undergraduate degree in a preservation or conservation related field such as history, architecture, archaeology, conservation, art history, cultural resource management, or cultural tourism.

IEP projects are varied and correspond to the needs and requirements of the host organizations. The host defines the project to be completed; an internship is not an independent research opportunity. Applicants may indicate a preference for the type of project they wish to be assigned, but must be willing to accept any position which may be located anywhere in the world. Assignments are made on the basis of the best match between the proposed project and the applicant’s background and skills.

By participating in the IEP, interns gain international experience at an early stage in their careers, broadening their worldview and preparing them for success in multicultural environments. In addition to strengthening professional heritage skills, the IEP fosters lifelong relationships between participants and their host organizations, creating a global network of heritage professionals. These connections have resulted in continued collaboration between people, communities, and organizations on heritage projects around the world.

This program is not a study tour or a preservation course. The internships are based on the principle of hands-on experience, learning by doing. Interns are assigned projects that they are expected to execute and complete with the same degree of professionalism and responsibility as project staff. Interns follow the hours of host office staff, which vary between 35- and 40-hours, 5 days per week (with the exception of holidays).


Internships are approximately 12 weeks in length (including orientation and the final program) and take place during the summer between June and August. World Heritage USA hosts all interns in Washington D.C. for a program orientation at the beginning of the summer. Interns then travel to their various host locations where they complete a 10-week preservation-related project designed by the host organization. At the end of the summer, all interns gather in Washington, D.C. for a final debriefing and farewell program.

2023 IEP Schedule:

January 9 – IEP Intern Applications Due
January 23 – IEP Host Applications Due
February – March – Interns are matched to hosts; Hosts approve placements; Final selections are made
April 1 – Deadline for interns to accept placements
April 14 – All signed agreements in place
June 14 – Intern orientation in Washington D.C.
June 19 – August 25 – Internship at the host organization
August 28 – 30 – Closing reception in Washington D.C


Intern applicants to the International Exchange Program must:

  • Have a strong interest in historic preservation and cultural heritage
  • Be an enrolled graduate student or an emerging professional who has graduated from an academic program within the last 3 years
  • Have fluency in English

The selection process for the World Heritage USA International Exchange Program is highly competitive (approximately one in fifteen applications is successful). Interns are selected on the basis of demonstrated skills, commitment to historic preservation, previous experience, academic concentration in the field, and their ability to represent their country in an exchange program. Most importantly, interns are selected based on how well their skills, training, interest and previous experience align with the needs of host organizations. Therefore, not every qualified candidate will be selected to participate in the IEP.

Apply to be a 2023 IEP Intern!

How to Apply

To become a 2023 IEP Intern, please complete the online application by January 9th, 2023. You will need a Google account in order to submit the application. The application will ask you to submit:

  • Information about you, your educational background, your experience, and internship preferences
  • A 500-word essay in English describing your motivation for wanting to participate in the program and how completion of an internship overseas will contribute to your career
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Two work samples that demonstrate your skill and ability to execute work that meets professional standards
  • Two letters of recommendation

Size and file type restrictions are specified on the form.

Applicants will be considered for all positions for which they are qualified. Applicants apply to the program, not a specific country or internship.

Letters of Recommendation

The Letters of Recommendation should be written by professors or employers attesting to the applicant’s professional competency and ability to represent their country. Recommendations should be confidential. The authors of the recommendation letters should email them directly to IEP Coordinator at

Application Fee

For U.S. Applicants: membership in World Heritage USA is required. Join World Heritage USA here.

For International Applicants: World Heritage USA cannot require membership in your national committee or ICOMOS International. However it is strongly recommended. All conditions being equal, an applicant who is a member of their national committee or ICOMOS International will be considered more favorably than one who is not.


The online form must be completed no later than 11:59 PM (applicant’s local time) on January 9th, 2023. Both letters of recommendation must be received by the IEP Program Coordinator via email by this time as well. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

Selection Process and Notification

The International Exchange Program review and selection process is conducted in two phases.

First, all applications to the International Excahnge Program are reviewed by the World Heritage USA IEP Committee. The committee then selects the best applicant for each available project. Interns are selected on the basis of skill, demonstrated commitment to preservation, previous experience, and academic concentration in the field. They are also chosen based on their ability to represent ICOMOS, their national committee of ICOMOS, and their country in an exchange program. Most importantly,  interns are selected based on how well their skills, training, interest and previous experience align with the needs of host organizations. Therefore, not every qualified candidate will be selected to participate in the IEP.

Then, after the World heritage USA IEP Committee has made recommendations for intern selections and project assignments, the intern application materials are sent to the host organizations for review and approvel. Host organizations give the final approval of intern selection and assignment.

Applicants will be notified by email if their application has been selected for submission to a host organization. This notification is sent around early to mid-March if possible.

Final email notification of acceptance to participate in the IEP will be sent as soon as the host organization agrees to accept the intern. Selected interns will then receive an information packet via email.

Please note that, on occasion, a selected applicant cancels before the start of their internship. Likewise, new internships may develop after the initial round of review. Therefore, World Heritage USA will keep all intern applications on file for the duration of the year in case new opportunities arise.

Questions about the application process should be directed to Katelynn Cunningham, IEP Program Coordinator at


World Heritage USA provides stipends to all interns for the 12-week internship period, paid in regular installments. Funding for the stipends is obtained through donations, fundraising efforts, and host contributions.

The stipends provided to interns are intended to cover basic living expenses (food and housing) for the duration of the internship. World Heritage USA will cover housing costs during the orientation and the final program in Washington D.C. In some cases, travel grants may be available for U.S. interns traveling overseas, but international interns coming to the U.S. must provide their own round-trip travel unless otherwise arranged.

The precise amount of stipends and coverage of travel costs depends on several factors, including the amount of donations received, whether free or reduced housing is provided by the host organization, and the relative cost of living in each internship location. In all cases, interns are strongly encouraged to bring with them sufficient personal funds to cover entertainment and other costs.

Intern stipends are considered to be reimbursement for living expenses, NOT salary or wages, so they are not considered to be taxable income.

World Heritage USA does not assume civil or financial responsibility for interns beyond the stipend amount and is not liable for any additional expense. Before leaving their own countries, participants must obtain private health insurance that will cover them during their entire stay. World Heritage USA provides limited, supplementary insurance. Interns are advised also to obtain an international driver’s license before leaving home.

Intern Responsibilities

Interns are selected on a competitive basis and are expected to be professional in their behavior and work ethic. Each World Heritage USA IEP Intern agrees to:

  • Obtain a visa, if required.
  • Maintain valid medical insurance, if required.
  • Work a 5-day week, keeping the hours of the regular staff, and participate in staff activities.
  • Complete the assigned project(s) within the duration of the internship.
  • Discuss any problems with the host organizations supervisor and contact World Heritage USA if resolution is not possible.
  • Try to learn as much as possible about the host country’s preservation techniques and philosophies, as well as local culture.
  • Complete two evaluations during the program, and one at the end of the program (using online forms provided by World Heritage USA).
  • Prepare and present a PowerPoint presentation and companion presentation board of project findings to be delivered at the concluding symposium.