The National Defense University (NDU)


The National Defense University (NDU) is the nation's preeminent joint institution for education, research and outreach in national and international security. Established in 1976, NDU is dedicated to educating, developing and inspiring national security leaders.


The International Student Management Office (ISMO)


Within NDU the International Student Management Office (ISMO) is administrative home to all international students attending NDU in-residence. Aligned with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's priorities, military and civilian officials from across the globe study at NDU. ISMO provides programmatic and practical support for NDU's international students and their families. We have offices in Washington, D.C., and Norfolk, VA to support all of NDU's five colleges.  

The ISMO Internship

The ISMO internship program is open to all U.S. citizens. The internship is as unique and exciting as it is challenging, and it will provide an opportunity to develop professional career skills in an experiential environment along with our full-time Program Specialists.  Program Assistants (interns) are afforded the opportunity to interact with senior international civilian and military officers and their families from around the world.

Program Assistants help advance the ISMO mission in their support of the International Fellows Program. This internship will provide Program Assistants with the opportunity to develop practical administrative, logistic, event planning and other critical skills as they assist the ISMO staff in transitioning and preparing the International Fellow for living life within the United States. The ISMO office plays a critical role in managing a variety of issues and processes for the International Fellows so they can focus on their coursework, without having to worry their pay, finding an apartment/home, schools, and/or local doctor. Program Assistants may also assist staff in coordinating events, visits, briefings, and/or receptions. They may also assist with executing parts of the American Studies Academic program, which teaches international officers about U.S. institutions and American culture, values, and ideals.

Typically, we try to assign Program Assistants individual projects, based on their area of interest. In this way, we give our interns autonomy and treat them as members of the staff responsible for project deliverables. These projects require both individual attention to detail and collaboration with others in the office. Interns should invoke staff confidence and demonstrate the ability to take on responsibility, work independently and in group settings. Attention to detail is crucial for completing various tasks within the ISMO office.

Most importantly, our interns must be aware that they are helping our international partners and allies understand America. For some officers, it is their first time visiting the United States and you will be seen as an ambassador or representative of America. We seek friendly, dedicated, motivated, and organized individuals. Foreign language proficiency, is not required, but useful in an atmosphere with over 25 spoken languages. International Relations, Political Science, History, Education, American Studies, Language majors and ROTC students are preferred; however, all are encouraged to apply.  Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern, and unfortunately, this position is unpaid, but valuable workforce skills can be earned. Applicants can choose to intern at either our DC or Norfolk office. 

We do not have deadlines for applications, but please submit materials at a minimum of 3 weeks before you would be available to begin your internship. We welcome interns for the fall, spring, and summer academic semesters. 

To apply: Please provide your resume, cover letter and one letter of recommendation (optional) to the ISMO Internship Program Manager at for DC applications or to for Norfolk applications. Please indicate the dates/semester you are applying for in your application. 

Additional Resources

To view the ISMO Internship Flyer please see below:

For Academic Advisers and Student Fellowship Program Managers:

If you are an academic adviser or student fellowship program manager and would like to establish a relationship with the National Defense University's International Student Management Office's Internship Program, please email and someone will contact you shortly.