Oxy at the UN

The Oxy at the UN is the largest program sponsored by Kahane, and Occidental is proud to sponsor the nation’s only full-time residential internship program available at the United Nations.

The William and Elizabeth Kahane United Nations Program at Occidental College (Oxy at the UN) complements an intellectual foundation of two academic courses with a demanding full-time internship at UN-related agencies or country missions. Generally, internships are located in and around Midtown. Please see the student interviews about what the participants say about the impact of the program.

All students must take all academic courses, including the academic internship and speakers series. Please note that all classes must be taken for letter grades.  It is not possible to take additional Occidental classes while participating in the program.

  • DWA 401: Special Topics in UN (4 credits)
  • DWA 402: The United Nations and Conflict Prevention: Actors, Architecture, Tools, Practice (4 credits)
  • DWA 403: The UN Experience Internship (8 credits)

Internship Examples

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • World Tourism Organization
  • Guatemala Mission to the United Nations
  • United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations
  • Malta Mission to the United Nations
  • Costa Rica Mission to the United Nations
  • Rwanda Mission to the United Nations
  • Honduras Mission to the United Nations
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • U.N. Millenium Campaign
  • U.N. Women

No specific internships can be guaranteed.  Internships placements are driven by the needs of the internship hosts, availability, and student strengths.

  • 3.0 GPA; DWA 102, plus a minimum of one additional course on international politics. Coursework in peace and security, human rights, humanitarianism and/or development strongly recommended.
  • Junior in any major at the time of application; Senior standing during the program
  • Demonstrated commitment to the study of international issues.
  • Appropriate and well-articulated scholarly purposes for participation demonstrated in all parts of the application.
  • Neither on academic or disciplinary probation nor under investigation for violations which may result in probation between application and departure.
  • All holds cleared with campus departments and offices before leaving campus.

The following is information for the general in-person UN program.

You will be billed with the following:

  • Occidental tuition
  • Shared double room housing fee
  • Insurance (required for international students and those whose personal plans do not cover them in New York)

You will not be billed for:

  • A meal plan. However, the actual cost of meals in NY is estimated at $4,200. Financial Aid will repackage the semester cost of attendance accordingly and adjust aid packages in accordance with policy. A Financial Aid officer will determine how your package may be adjusted depending upon your needs. Please contact the Financial Aid Office with further questions.

Students live in shared double rooms at the 92Y Residence on the upper east side, 3 blocks from Central Park and near local transportation

Fall 2024 Program Dates

August 24 - Students arrive in New York, move into 92Y after 3 pm
August 25 - September 1 - Orientation
September 3 - DWA 402 begins.
September 4 - DWA 401 begins
September 4 - 8 - Internships begin
September 10 - United Nations General Assembly begins
October 21 - 28 - Advising week (Oxy)
October 29 - November 1 - Spring 2025 course registration (Oxy)
December 13 - Last day of program
December 15 - Latest student departure date - 12 noon.

Occidental College reserves the right to modify the program based on a variety of circumstances, including health and safety concerns and educational outcomes.

Read about the program staff by clicking the names:
Cynthia Rothschild, Director, Oxy at the UN
Jacques Fomerand, Assistant Director, Oxy at the UN

For any questions about the applications and business logistics contact:
Marisa Mofford, Associate Director, International Programs

For any questions about the academic requirements contact:
DWA faculty

More than 400 Oxy students have participated in the Kahane Oxy-at-the-UN program since it was founded by Professor George Sherry in 1986. Students intern in an agency or related organization to the United Nations or a foreign mission to the UN, and are firsthand observers of major events on the international agenda. It is a fast-moving experience, challenging students to combine internship responsibilities with the related course work.

Established in 1945, the United Nations continues to deal with the new and ongoing challenges of security and development in the 21st-century context of globalization and unprecedented technological change. While some of the world's population has benefitted from these transformations, parts of the developing world continue to lag behind. The search for ways to narrow this gap is at the heart of the work of the United Nations as students arrive here each fall.

In September 2010, Occidental President Jonathan Veitch announced a $500,000 lead gift from Occidental trustee Bill Kahane '70 and his wife, Elizabeth, toward a permanent endowment for the program. In April 2014, the Kahane's further pledged $5.5 million to endow the program. This generous support not only provides a permanent endowment for the program, but it will also increase student scholarship support, give students greater access to cultural offerings in New York, support student travel to Washington, D.C., and make it possible to bring UN programming back to the Occidental campus.

Contact Diplomacy & World Affairs
Johnson Hall 210

The McKinnon Center for Global Affairs