United States: Washington DC Semester Internship Program

Intern in the Capital!

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Overview

The Washington Semester Program through American University lets students intern in Washington D.C. while taking seminars with guest speakers from the realms of foreign and domestic politics, law and jurisprudence, international business and trade, journalism, economic policy, peace and conflict resolution, and more. This program is excellent for students interested in international relations and political science.

Application Information

Requirements for Admission

  • Juniors and seniors
  • Clean record with the Office of Community Standards and good academic and College standing
  • Professional application: materials are submitted on-time, are edited before submission, and are thorough and thoughtful.
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Endorsement from the Faculty Director, Dr. Mike Gunter. You will need to prepare your preliminary proposal to share with Dr. Gunter
  • Depending on your major, you may need to have completed specific course prerequisites in order to receive major credit for the internship

Deadlines

  • Spring 2018 Deadline: October 2, 2017
  • Fall 2018 Deadline: March 2, 2018

How to Apply

Program Calendar

Fall 2017

  • Aug 23: Required Arrival Date
  • Aug 24-26: Orientation
  • Aug 28: First Day of Classes
  • Sept 13: Internship must begin no later than this date
  • Oct 13-15: Fall Break
  • Nov 22-26: Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec 8: Last Day of Classes and Internships
  • Dec 11-18: Exam Period (specific exam dates depend on specific courses)
  • Dec 19: Program End Date

Spring 2018

  • Jan 16: First Day of Classes
  • Jan 29: Internship must begin no later than this date
  • Mar 11-18: Spring Break
  • April 30: Last Day of Classes
  • May 2-8: Exam Period
  • May 19: Program End Date

Getting There

Flight & Orientation

Students are responsible for booking their own flights.  You have all day on Wednesday to move into your room and explore the campus and surrounding area. On Thursday the program goes into full swing, beginning with orientation. Later that afternoon, individual class meetings are held. Thursday evening is set aside for settling in and for residence hall floor meetings. Throughout the day on Friday, registration (including course changes), ID cards, and billing details can be settled. You’ll usually have the majority of the day free, so you can settle most or all details before classes start. Occasionally, some of the faculty will have office hours or meet briefly with students regarding internships on Friday. Then, on Monday, the Internship Bazaar will be held on the main campus. Approximately 100 prospective internship employers come to campus to conduct on-the-spot interviews with interested students. Please have your resumes ready and look sharp!

Visa

No visa is needed since this program is based in the United States. However, if you choose to participate in an international experience as part of your program, AU will assist with any visa paperwork as needed.

Academic Information

Courses

Depending on what concentration your choose, your seminars, internship and research course will focus on that particular theme or topic. The concentrations are as follows:

Students on this program must take the following courses in the chosen concentration of study:
  • Internship (4 Credits): The Washington Semester Program (WSP) provides students with an instant network of organizations to look through. Six to eight weeks before the semester begins, you'll gain access to all of the internships in WSP’s database that are relevant to the program you've been accepted in to. You can start your search right away, or wait until you arrive in D.C. Either way, you'll have nearly two weeks at the beginning of the semester to attend interviews and make your selection.
  • Seminar (8 Credits): For three days of each week, you'll participate in intellectual discussion with professionals who are knee-deep in the field you are studying. You'll go "behind the scenes"; into the offices of most of the speakers to get a first-hand insider's view of the week's topics of discussion. Some of the speakers are big names and some are not, but one thing's certain, they are all major players at the local, national, and international levels who are passionate about their stance, present valid viewpoints and are invited to challenge your point of view.
  • Research Course (4 Credits): You will enroll in an in-depth research project using Washington, D.C. as a laboratory of information.

Transfer of Credit

Students participating on this program will need to seek the appropriate departmental approval for all major/minor requirements and approval for General Education Requirements through Student Records. All courses on this program appear on the Rollins transcript as transfer credits and the grades are factored into the Rollins GPA. Students who successfully complete this program through Rollins will receive an official transcript from American University. It can take up to 3 months to receive the official transcript.

Housing & Meals

Housing

Students will be housed in either the university leased apartments or in university residence halls.  Depending on the housing available each term, students may be restricted to one option or the other.  

  • The Berkshire Apartments, located on Massachusetts Avenue between Nebraska Ave and Macomb St, NW are only a block away (about a 5 minute walk) from main campus and a mile from the Tenleytown-AU Metro stop on the Red Line. The University Shuttle provides transportation between main campus and the Metro. The Berkshires feature double occupancy (two students sharing a room) studio, small one bedroom, and medium/large one bedroom apartment options. Each apartment unit contains kitchen facilities and bathroom. Rollins will only pay for a double studio in Berkshire. If a student choosing a different layout, the student will be billed for the cost difference.
  • Leonard Hall: students will live in a traditional residence hall on the main campus with corridor-style rooms and shared hall bathrooms. Rooms are triples, furnished, though students should bring their own linens. 

Meals

Students living in university apartments will not have a meal plan on campus. Instead, the apartments have kitchens and students cook for themselves. Students living in the residence halls are required to purchase a standard meal plan.

Student Life

The Student Association of Student Activities (SASA) organizes a variety of events for students in the school of Professional and Extended Studies at American University, including students from this program.  Past events include barbecues, a Super Bowl Watch Party, Second Chance Prom, Winter Masquerade Ball, Karaoke Night, Nationals game, themed food nights sponsored by Bon Appétit Catering and more. The organization also plans community service events, fundraisers for local/international organizations and bring special guest speakers to the Tenley campus.  Students also have access to other American University activities, events and facilities.

Costs

Program Fee

The program fee is equal to Rollins College tuition and fees, plus room and board, for one semester.

  • Fall 2017: $31,534
  • Spring 2018: $31,531

Includes

Tuition and program administration, accommodation: residence halls or double (WISH), internship placement, complete medical and emergency insurance, and orientation.

Does Not Include

  • Airfare from Orlando: $300 (estimate)
  • On-site transportation: $30 - $80 per week (estimate)*
  • International Field Study (if desired): $5,000 (estimate)
  • Souvenirs, entertainment and independent travel: Costs will vary but an average estimate is $1,000 - $2,000

*Metro fares vary according to number of stops and peak/off-peak hours.

Discount on Student Account

In December for the spring semester and July for the fall semester, a discount will be applied to the Student Account for meals not included on the program if the student is living in an apartment, not a residence hall for which a meal plan is included.  The discount should cover normal, basic costs for meals/groceries. Students with significant financial aid may end up with a positive balance on the Student Account which can then be requested as a refund.

Need-Based Scholarships

Scholarships based on financial need are available to off-set costs associated with international airfare, and, in exceptional cases, other costs associated with study abroad. Students apply for scholarships through the normal program application.

Advising

Advising is offered on a walk-in basis: Tuesday-Thursday from 12pm - 2pm during the normal semester. If you are unable to make it at these times, email, call or stop by to set up an appointment. We can also put you in touch with members of our Global Ambassador Program. These are students who have completed a study abroad program and would be happy to share their experiences with you. You may also want to review our blog site to see what past students have said about their adventures on this program.

Please Note: This program has a required advising session (30 mins) as part of the application process. Please email Mike Rainaldi to schedule an appointment.