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The NATO Association of Canada provides a forum for Canadians to learn about and discuss Canada’s role in NATO and our contribution to international trade, peace, and security. The Association offers unpaid internship opportunities for young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 30.

The goal of this program is to help students and recent graduates transition from post-secondary education to productive work in the field of international affairs and business. Additionally, this program is designed to help Canadian youth move from part-time or underemployment to rewarding careers with an international focus.

About the Internship

The internship offers unique and challenging work for motivated individuals wishing to display their knowledge of international affairs, Canadian defence issues, and NATO. We provide interns with a platform to publish well-researched, journalistic-style articles that communicate the importance of global security issues for Canadians.

The internship lasts for a duration of four months on a full-time basis and is an unpaid position.

There are three internship sessions per year: January to the end of April (Winter Session), May to the end of August (Spring/Summer Session), and September to the end of December (Fall Session).

Applications are accepted year round with the deadline to apply for each session on February 6th, July 1st, and November 1st respectively.


Interns have the following responsibilities:

  • Publish one article that is 650-850 words in length each week (12 in total);
  • Coordinate one program or initiative;
  • Edit article contributions from Junior Research Fellows;
  • Assist in event organization;
  • Utilize social media to increase the reach of NAOC’s work;
  • Contact prospective sponsors and attendees on behalf of NATO Association.

A form with further information on the internship can be accessed here.

General Qualifications

We look for motivated and knowledgeable individuals with an aptitude for research and journalistic writing. The intern should be capable of working in a diverse working environment and fulfill the assigned responsibilities.

Benefits of Internship

By interning at the NATO Association, you stand to gain:

  • A reference letter from the Honourable Hugh Segal, Chair of the NATO Association of Canada;
  • Opportunities to publish articles on the NATO Association’s website;
  • International and Canadian networking opportunities with members of the foreign service, industry, and government;
  • A meeting with the President of NAOC to discuss your future after the internship;
  • Free access to high-profile events throughout your term.

Although unpaid, the internship is set up to teach important skills to young people moving from the academic to the working world – a list of the learning points can be found here: NAOC Learning Points

The internship is centered on project management and allowing interns to take ownership of projects. These projects are taken on voluntarily or created by the interns themselves. This is of immense value and means that interns learn by doing. While the organization does receive some benefit from this, the overall emphasis is on professional development and project management skills.

For an internship to be legal in Ontario, it must achieve six conditions:

  1. The training is similar to that which is given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the intern. You receive some benefit from the training, such as new knowledge or skills.
  3. The employer derives little, if any, benefit from the activity of the intern while he or she is being trained.
  4. Your training doesn’t take someone else’s job.
  5. Your employer isn’t promising you a job at the end of your training.
  6. You have been told that you will not be paid for your time.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted year round with the deadline to apply for each session landing on the 1st of March, July, and November. The current application deadline for the May – August term is February 6th, 2017.

In your application package, please include the following:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A covering motivational letter explaining your interest in the NAOC internship;
  • The names and contact information of three references;
  • A journalistic writing sample of 800-1000 words on international affairs.

Please send your application package via email to or by mail to:

NATO Association of Canada
60 Harbour Street, 4th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5J 1B7

Please note that the date of receipt must be before the stipulated deadline.

Junior Research Fellowships

If you want to contribute to the NAOC and have another full-time commitment, or if some other circumstance prevents you from committing to work as a full-time intern, the Association offers Junior Research Fellowships to qualified applicants. The position consists primarily of research and writing, and involves sending in an article a week over a 4-month period on a designated topic of interest. It is a great way to publish on subjects of interest and demonstrate your aptitude for research.

To apply, please send an application (instructions above) specifying your interest in the Junior Research Fellowship and a program or initiative of interest: e.g., Procurement, Women in Security, Canadian Armed Forces, Canada’s NATO, and more.