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Interns aka Office Warriors

Picture: From the day Denmak got a seat in the Human Rights Council



The Royal Danish Embassy in Pretoria handles bilateral relations between Denmark and South Africa. The Embassy also covers 9 other countries in the region. The Embassy employs more than 25 staff members, is headed by Ambassador Tobias Elling Rehfeld and comprises a Management Team, an Admin/Finance team, a Strategic Sector Cooperation team, a Political Team, a Consular team, and a Trade Council Team. We are a middle-sized Embassy focusing on providing high-quality services and analyses, while prioritizing a good working environment.

The Embassy’s five internship positions offer educational and challenging assignments for Danish students within the following three areas:

  • Strategic Sector Cooperation (1 position in Water and 1 in Smart Cities).
  • Trade Council (2 positions)
  • Political (1 position)   


    The intern must be a Danish citizen or have a prolonged affiliation with Denmark. It is furthermore a prerequisite that the intern is enrolled in a Danish or foreign institution of higher education during the internship.

You will be able to work with colleagues from different backgrounds and with different areas of expertise – and we would be surprised if you did not have some fun while you were with us.


The cultural diversity of South Africa, the fantastic traveling and leisure opportunities as well as the many other embassies and international organizations in Pretoria, all contribute to making this internship in South Africa a great chance to live and work in an international environment while also experiencing the African culture first hand. South Africa has a rich history, is a major economic and political power in Sub-Saharan Africa and an emerging power on the world scene. South Africa is continuously growing and changing rapidly, making this a fascinating place to be a student of economics and politics.

An internship at the Embassy will give you significant knowledge of the Danish Foreign Service, of South Africa, and the region as a whole. The Internship is intended to contribute to your education, and will be structured in such a way that it will be possible to obtain course credit, if this is allowed by the relevant graduate programme the candidate is enrolled in.


Autum internships running from the 1st of August - 31st of January has application deadline on 21st of February. Internships in the spring from 1st of Febuary - 31st of July has application deadline on the 5th September.


Read more about each position below and watch the video to get an impression of the internship in South Africa. 

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Trade Council Interns

Develop trade relations between Denmark and South Africa

The trade team at the Danish Embassy in South Africa assists Danish companies in their efforts to export products and establish themselves on the South African market. As an intern, you will work as part of the team and contribute to the wide range of tasks performed, including the entire process from eyeing market opportunities for Danish companies to setting up office and promoting sales – see below.

You will be expected to familiarize yourself with the South African economic and trade environment, as well as the procedures of the Danish Foreign Service.

Trade Council work assignments examples:

  • Contribution to business reports and strategies prepared for Danish companies, including market analysis, partner searches, proposals and similar
  • Assistance with planning, preparation of Ministerial visits and other high-level official visits to South Africa
  • Participation in trade fairs and exhibitions
  • Communication tasks including updating the Embassy’s website
  • Ad hoc internal assistance to the Embassy’s other employees

Your work will be conducted in collaboration with and under the supervision of the Trade department and the Head of the Trade Department. Please contact Freya Petersen for further information or specific questions regarding the position.

Strategic Sector Cooperation Interns

Develop strategic sector cooperation between Denmark and South Africa

As a intern in Strategic Sector Cooperation (SSC), you will work as part of a dynamic and ambitious team.

Our focus is on identifying, facilitating and furthering cooperation between Danish public institutions and their South African counterparts within the specific sectors of water, energy, agriculture and smart cities. You will be involved in a wide range of tasks and work closely with other teams at the Embassy, as foreign policy and private sector involvement are important cross-cutting components of the Strategic Sector Cooperation.

While the energy component has been on-going for a couple of years in the shape of an Energy Sector Program focusing on sustainable energy, the cooperation on water and water management with the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food, Higher Education and Science and their South African counterparts is part of a new initiative: “Partnering with Denmark”. Partnering with Denmark is a part of the Danish GO Growth strategy looking at expanding Danish cooperation with some of the world's emerging economies, and as part of the SSC team in South Africa you will be at the forefront of the new economic diplomacy.

The latest initiative under the SSC umbrella is “the Sustainable and Smart Cities Programme”. This is a city to city co-operation between the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) and the City of Aarhus. The objective is to provide Danish know-how and technology in the areas of city planning, sustainability and smart city solutions and thereby contribute to the positive development of the City of Tshwane.

The partnerships with South African institutions focus on knowledge sharing, capacity building and dissemination of Danish tech solutions to create sustainable growth and development, and the Embassy’s role is to facilitate and oversee the project management.

SSC work assignments examples:

  • Working in the SSC team on facilitating the implementation of the SSC projects
  • Contributing to the elaboration and detailed formulation of project implementation plans – processes, modalities, practicalities, activity plans, time schedules etc.
  • Support to the on-going project management – e.g. monitoring and progress reporting towards key performance goals and adjoining indicators.
  • Participating in the preparation and implementation of project activities. Meetings with South African partners, site visits, workshops, staff exchange arrangements.
  • Contributing to on-going investigations, identification and mapping of business opportunities for the Danish water tech industry and various sectors within the sustainable and smart cities space.
  • Contributing to on-going investigations, identification and mapping of joint research and innovation opportunities for relevant South African and Danish research institutions.
  • Assist in preparations for Ministers’ and other High-Level visits to South Africa
  • Assisting any other Embassy departments when required.

The work assignments will be conducted in collaboration with and under the daily supervision of the Counsellor for Water. Please contact Jørgen Erik Larsen ( or Kristoffer Rønde Møller ( for further information or specific questions regarding the position.

Political Intern

Develop the political relations between Denmark and South Africa

As an intern in the political team you will be involved in a wide range of tasks pertaining to the Embassy’s political, economic, cultural and developmental activities, including the political cooperation on human rights and peace and security.

You will continuously need to follow both the political and economic situation in South Africa and the region with a view to contribute to analyses and reports.

Political work assignments examples: 

  • Contribute to reporting on political and economic issues and events, e.g. elections in the region and new legislation
  • Analyses of South Africa’s economic policies and performance, e.g. the national budget and economic sector analyses
  • Assist with the planning, preparing and implementing of the Embassy’s cultural activities and cultural exchange programs
  • Assist in preparations for Ministers’ and other High-Level visits to South Africa
  • Communication tasks, e.g. updating the website and social media platforms
  • Assisting any other Embassy departments when required.

The work assignments will be conducted in collaboration with and under the daily supervision of the Head of the Political Team.

Please contact Karina Hedemark ( for further information or specific questions regarding the position.

General Terms and Requirements



The position is not remunerated. However, the intern will receive an endorsement of/or be refunded for expenses equalling DKK 3,500.00 per month. The Embassy expects to be able to rent a suitable apartment for the Embassy’s five interns, in which you will be required to stay. The rental amount will in that case be deducted from the 3.500 DKK monthly endorsements.

The position is open to Danish or foreign citizens enrolled in a Danish tertiary educational institution or for Danish citizens enrolled in a tertiary educational institution outside Denmark. Foreign citizens can apply if they have lived in Denmark for a number of years and are resident in Denmark at the time of applying. The Embassy requires candidates to have completed a bachelor’s degree within a field relevant to the Embassy’s work.

While most visitors experience a problem-free stay in South Africa, the crime rate is high, and life in South Africa requires more attention to personal safety than in Denmark. New interns will receive briefings, guidance and other assistance from the Embassy immediately upon arrival.

It is a clear advantage to have a driver’s license in South Africa, as public transport is not a viable option in most cases. The cost of living in South Africa is less than living in Denmark. To get an updated view of the current situation in South Africa, we refer to the travel guidance on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

You are also welcome to contact current trainees at the Embassy.


The internship is for a term 6 months. There are two options for terms:

  • Each year from 1. February to 31. July or
  • Each year from 1. August to 31. January.


The intern must be a Danish citizen or have a prolonged affiliation with Denmark. It is furthermore a prerequisite that the intern is enrolled in a Danish or foreign institution of higher education during the Internship. Other qualifications required are:

  • A bachelor’s degree (e.g. Scient.pol., Scient.soc, Oecon., merc. or similar)
  • A keen interest in African challenges and potential in a rapidly changing world
  • A keen interest in Global and African environment management challenges
  • Very good knowledge of written and spoken English
  • Capacity to work independently and efficiently
  • Flexibility and ability to be a team player


The Internship is unpaid but the Embassy provides a monthly subsidy (currently DKK 3,500) intended to partially support expenditures in relation to accommodation, health insurance and board. It is possible to remain eligible for SU during the Internship according to the applicable rules. Interns also have the opportunity to seek grants from relevant institutions.

The Interns are not responsible for finding own accommodation, but will be assisted by previous Interns and the Embassy.
It is a condition that the Intern takes out a health and accident insurance that covers the entire stay in South Africa.


The selected candidate will only be offered the position and internship contract once the candidate has obtained the required security clearance via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark and PET. The Embassy will initiate this process as part of the finalisation of the application process. A contract will be drafted prior to the beginning of the Internship.


Interested applicants are encouraged to read the travel information for South Africa published on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website ( Further questions can be directed to 

Application and Deadlines

Please note The Danish Embassy is currently not seeking new interns. The Embassy expects that new positions for 1 August 2021- 31 January 2022 will be advertised in February 2021.


An application containing a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a copy of your diploma(s), and any recommendations should be send to as a single PDF-file.

Please write “Intern” and the position you wish to apply for; for instance “Intern– Trade Council” or simply “Intern” if you apply for multiple positions. The application is to be forwarded via e-mail to:


Applications for traineeships starting 1. February must be submitted by 5th September.
Applications for traineeships starting 1. August must be submitted by 21st February.

Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview via Skype or telephone approximately 2 weeks after the indicated deadline.

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Embassy of Denmark

iParioli Office Park, Block B2
1166 Park Street
Hatfield 0083

Phone +27 (0) 12 430 9340