Smithsonian Digital Learning and Engagement Internship

Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Emerson Collective, Smithsonian Institution, and its Smithsonian Affiliates offers the Smithsonian Digital Learning and Engagement Internship to rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are committed to helping communities, are passionate about social justice, and are driven to accelerate positive impact in our world.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex with the responsibility to help people understand the complexity and the nuances of our history. Museums and cultural organizations have a social justice role to play and have an opportunity to not only become community centers, but to be at the center of their community, helping people grapple with the challenges we all face. The Smithsonian and its network of Smithsonian Affiliates know it is crucially important to have diversity—not just of race or ethnicity—but of ideas to be organizations of transformation to strengthen and change the world we live in. An internship with the Smithsonian and its Affiliates offers the opportunity for students of all majors to use their educational focus as a lens to share their social justice passion. This summer, see how museums and cultural organizations are local changemakers, and explore new ways to bring equitable educational resources to communities across the U.S.

2022 Summer with the Smithsonian

This 5-minute video was produced by student interns. It showcases their summer work and provides reflections and highlights from their learning experiences.

Two opportunities will be offered in 2023:

  • Hybrid experience with a Smithsonian Affiliate organization
    • Hybrid students receive a stipend, and modest travel and housing funds.
  • In Person experience at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
    • In person students receive a stipend and modest travel funds. Housing is provided.

All internships will be four days per week and take place June -August 2023 (exact dates to be determined).

*All students will receive the same stipend. Travel fund amount varies and is based on the location the student is traveling from to the internship destination. 

For both hybrid and in-person internships, students will work together in small teams to create digital educational resources on the Smithsonian Learning Lab platform that help dive deeper into complex issues through the lens of five topic areas:

  • Race and social justice
  • Conservation and climate change
  • Women’s history
  • Changing American narrative (immigration, civics, media, education)

Curious? Check out the 2021 intern projects

Interns will have access to the breadth and depth of Smithsonian and Affiliate resources, meet with Smithsonian leaders, and gain an understanding of how museums and cultural organizations are vital in providing platforms to discuss, understand, and solve some of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Interns will also participate in enrichment programming with Emerson Collective, designed to develop leadership capacity and build professional networks.

Students participating in an in-person internship at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. will work with one of its museums, resource or cultural centers, libraries, and/or other offices. Housing will be provided for in-person interns. Interns will be required to be on-site at their assigned Smithsonian location for the summer internship to complete site-specific work. In-person interns will have the opportunity to participate in Smithsonian-wide internship activities and events in addition to enrichment activities scheduled by the Emerson Collective, and any virtual programming being offered throughout the summer.

Students participating in a hybrid internship will be paired with a Smithsonian Affiliate organization geographically near the student’s physical location. Students will be required to be on-site for a specific amount of time (to be determined–from 2 to 4 weeks) during the internship to participate in hands-on activities related to their projects, meet with, and learn from Affiliate mentors, and participate in any on-site enrichment activities. In addition, hybrid interns will have the opportunity to participate in virtual enrichment programs provided by the Emerson Collective and Smithsonian Institution.

If you are an international student considering an internship with the Smithsonian, there are some additional considerations regarding your participation in an internship. As a non-U.S. citizen, you will need to present proof of legal authorization to participate in your internship. Please review the International Appointees section of the Smithsonian Office of Internships FAQs for more guidance.

SUMMER 2023 APPLICATION PROCESS COMING SOON! Please check back in the fall for information about 2023 opportunities.

Still have questions? Email with the subject line “Smithsonian Digital Learning Internship” and we will be in touch as soon as possible.