Internship Program

Internships are offered by the PCA to law students and recent graduates who wish to gain experience at an international arbitration institution. Internships offer a balance of legal and administrative assignments, allowing interns to gain insight into both the legal and practical aspects of international arbitration. Internships may be carried out at the PCA’s headquarters in The Hague or at the PCA’s Vienna office.

In addition to internships with the PCA’s International Bureau, the PCA also offers an internship in association with the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). PCA-ICCA interns will undertake legal research, legal editing and organizational tasks, including work on ICCA publications, ICCA outreach projects (such as ICCA’s work worldwide on harmonization in the implementation of the 1958 New York Convention) and Young ICCA seminars and projects. PCA-ICCA interns do not engage in arbitration case work conducted under the auspices of the PCA.

Applicants should clearly indicate in their application whether they are applying to the PCA Internship Program, the PCA-ICCA Internship Program, or both. For the PCA Internship Program, applicants should also indicate whether they are applying to the PCA’s headquarters in The Hague or the PCA’s Vienna office.


PCA Internships last for three months and start at the beginning of January, April, July, and October. PCA-ICCA internships also last for three months, starting in January, April, and October.

Interested applicants should send their applications at least four months in advance of the relevant starting date, i.e.:

  • Jan-Mar, Term 1 – deadline 1 Sept
  • Apr-Jun, Term 2 – deadline 1 Dec
  • Jul-Sept, Term 3 – deadline 1 Mar
  • Oct-Dec, Term 4 – deadline 1 Jun
  • Successful internship candidates are usually those who have recently graduated law school with top marks. However, applications are also accepted from law students who are entering their final year of law school, as well as recent graduates who have some professional experience or are engaging in advanced law studies.
  • Fluency in either French or English is essential. Additional language skills are a strong advantage, especially Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. For the PCA Vienna office, knowledge of German is also an asset.
  • Candidates need not have a specialization in international dispute resolution or public international law, but should at least have demonstrated an interest in these fields.
How to Apply

Send an email to [email protected] indicating the desired start date in the subject line and attaching a single PDF comprising an application package with the following documents:

  1. A carefully written cover letter that indicates
    (a) how you expect to benefit from the program;
    (b) how you can contribute to the PCA; and
    (c) a brief description of areas of interest and knowledge of law.
  2. A curriculum vitae;
  3. A letter of recommendation from a professor or senior professional;
  4. Copies of academic transcripts (scans or photos are sufficient);
  5. Proof of proficiency in English or French (for non-native speakers).
Language Proficiency

The PCA accepts the following as proof of proficiency in English or French:


  • A score of 7 or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • 600 or higher on the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For computer-based tests, a score above 250 will be considered, and for internet-based tests 100 is the minimum score.


  • A score above 850 on the Test de français international (TFI).
  • A certificate in Business French B2.4 from the Alliance Française.

The PCA is selective about admissions. There are a limited number of places each year, meaning that not all qualified applicants can be offered Internships. The PCA will inform successful applicants about the outcome of their applications three months in advance of the internship.

Further Information

Internships are awarded to individuals with outstanding academic and/or professional records who meet the qualifications outlined above, and who are motivated to gain experience at an international arbitration institution. Although there is no formal interview process, an official of the PCA may contact an applicant by telephone or e-mail if further information or clarification is required with regard to the application.

Internships are self-funded. An intern must have adequate financial resources and health insurance for the term to be eligible.

If you are selected and you require a travel visa to take up the internship, the PCA will provide documentation in support of your application.

Although interns are not formally considered staff members of the PCA, they participate in the PCA’s activities as members of the International Bureau.