Academic Internship Program
Transform your major into an exciting career while living, working and learning with a Washington, D.C. internship.
A professional experience and a great place to live are just the beginning. We'll help you land an internship that fits you and your goals, not just an open slot. You'll do real work, not just make copies. Along the way we'll equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to pursue your goals and connect to powerful professional networks. We'll give you the guidance and support you need to succeed. Best of all you'll share this amazing experience with a close-knit, vibrant community of fellow student interns from around the world.
I have solidified my career goals and formed incredible connections. Thanks to this unique and irreplaceable experience in D.C., I have developed skills as a researcher and can move forward with confidence.Caden Rosenbaum
Lubbock Christian University
Interned at American Legislative Exchange Council
To be eligible to participate in this program, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be enrolled as an undergraduate student at an accredited college or university.*
- Be a sophomore or above while participating in the program and have completed at least two semesters on campus by the start of our program.
- Maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
- Receive academic credit from your college or university for your participation in the program (TWC does not grant credit).
- Have approval from your campus liaison (or a faculty sponsor if there is no TWC liaison on your campus).
Your home institution may have additional eligibility requirements. Please contact your campus liaison before starting an application to TWC. If you need help identifying your campus liaison email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* TWC also considers recent college graduates and students in master’s level programs on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us at email@example.com to learn more
The Washington Center is a designated J-1 Visa sponsor by the U.S. State Department and sponsors a J-1 Visa for international students attending or recently graduated from a university in a foreign country. Once you’re accepted into The Washington Center’s program, you’ll be given details for how to secure your J-1 Visa. Special provisions may be available for Canadian citizens.
International students enrolled in U.S. universities with a valid F-1 visa can participate in TWC’s programs with their current visa as long as they remain enrolled in the university and their visa is valid until the last day of The Washington Center’s program or beyond. Please contact your home institution for further information.
J-1 Visa Requirements
In order to obtain a J-1 Visa, you must be accepted into one of our programs and:
- Be enrolled in a foreign degree- or certificate-granting university outside the United States OR have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to the program start date. Alternatively, you may have a degree or professional certificate from a foreign university and at least one year of work experience in your field.
- Know English well enough to perform successfully in the program.
- Plan to leave the United States within 30 days after completion of the program.
Once you have been accepted into our program and placed at an internship site, The Washington Center will send you the DS-2019 and DS-7002 forms along with other important materials.
All J-1 Visa participants must certify that they have a valid health insurance policy for the entire duration of the program to comply with State Department requirements. You will need to bring proof of insurance with you when you come to the United States to provide to The Washington Center.
Your policy must include:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness.
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000.
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation to your home country in the amount of $50,000.
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, the policy may be backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country.
During our summer or semester-long program, you'll spend most of your time doing four main things.
You'll work full time Monday through Thursday at your internship so you're on the job enough to do real meaningful work and feel like part of the team. Before you get here, we'll help you sort through internship options and connect you with the ones that best fit your interests, skills and professional goals. When internship offers come in (yes, you might get more than one), you choose the one that's right for you. We work with more than 600 intern host partners, so we've got you covered.
Once a week you’ll take an evening course. You get to choose one that suits you from a wide range of options. All courses meet for three hours one night, Monday through Thursday, but are otherwise like courses taught on your campus. In many cases, they have a direct relationship to the work you're doing throughout the week and range from politics and business to international affairs and communications.
Every Friday, you’ll attend our LEAD Colloquium. Through special activities, one-on-one advising with your LEAD instructor, and small group discussions with fellow TWC interns like you, you will contextualize what you learn at your internship and apply it toward a successful plan for life after college. During LEAD Colloquium you’ll further develop your professional identity, make lasting connections and learn how to navigate the professional workplace. When you leave TWC, you’ll be able to use your newly acquired skills and knowledge to build a meaningful career.
Throughout the program, you'll build a portfolio that showcases what you've learned and documents your professional journey.
The Washington Center is affiliated with more than 400 colleges and universities in the U.S. Your final cost will depend on how the program works at your college or university.
Our fees could be offset by financial assistance or through arrangements with your school. You may find that a semester or summer with TWC is comparable in cost to what you’d pay for the same term on campus.
Program and Housing Fees
|Fees||Spring 2020||Summer 2020||Fall 2020|
*$125 application fee is only for students enrolled in institutions outside of the U.S. This covers the cost of shipping materials via FedEx
Following these steps will help you determine the cost for you to attend:
- Contact your campus liaison and ask about how The Washington Center's program works at your school. If you need help identifying your campus liaison, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Check with the financial aid office on your campus to see if your aid package can be applied toward TWC costs. We also recommend inquiring about any additional funding opportunities that may be available to students participating in TWC.
- Review the scholarships available through TWC below.
- Apply to the program. You will automatically be considered for any scholarships that you're eligible for.
If you have questions or would like to find out more about how TWC will work for you, contact us at email@example.com.
If you need financial assistance to make your semester or summer in Washington, D.C. possible, we offer a number of scholarships supported by generous funding from our partners.
You may be eligible to receive funding available for campus leaders, students from diverse backgrounds, members of honors societies and programs, students with disabilities, and more. Current scholarships are listed below:
If you have questions or would like to find out more about how TWC will work for you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housing and Living
The community you become a part of is one of the best things about The Washington Center. You never know what will spark a conversation that turns a roommate from halfway around the globe to a lifelong friend. You might come for an internship, but you’ll be amazed by what you can learn from a late night burger run.
We don't like to brag, but our neighborhood, NoMa, is one of the coolest and 'most connected' neighborhoods in D.C. You'll be in the middle of it all with easy access wherever you need to go.
Want to learn all about TWC housing, the community and the neighborhood? Check out our Housing page below.
Most student interns share a 2-bedroom/2-bath apartment with three other students in our modern residential and academic building. We'll provide everything you need, most of what you'll want and even some perks you might not have expected (like tips on where to find that burger at 2am).
Each apartment is fully furnished and includes:
- a full dining set (pots, pans, dishes, silverware, coffee maker and toaster)
- iron and ironing board
- vacuum cleaner
- mop and broom
- washer and dryer
- wi-fi and cable
What to Pack
Please be prepared to pack the following:
- linens including blankets, comforter, and sheets for a twin-XL mattress, towels and pillows
- personal toiletries
- government-issued ID card
- at least three business professional outfits
- notebook and pens
- clothes hangers
Once you’ve arrived we recommend you purchase these additional items:
- cleaning supplies
- dishwasher and laundry detergent
- toilet paper and paper towels
Due to limited storage, we cannot accept packages in advance of your check-in date.
We give you your space, but we don't leave you totally on your own. Our student services team and alumni mentors make sure you have the support you need, any time day or night. And our disability services staff ensures that every student has the tools they need to live comfortably, complete assignments and succeed in their work.
If you are interested in bringing your vehicle, we offer the following rates:
- Spring/Fall Semesters: $550
- Summer Semester: $375
Parking assignments are made on a first-come, first-serve basis, depending on space and occupancy availability. To be assigned a parking space, you must submit a fully completed Community Profile, including vehicle information. The parking fee is due in full by the day of check-in. If you have questions regarding parking availability at the RAF at NoMa, please email email@example.com or call 202-469-8091.
Undergraduate students are required to receive academic credit for their participation. The amount of credit will depend on your home institution. Most schools offer the equivalent of a semester of credit. If your school is affiliated with The Washington Center, you should consult your liaison. If you need help identifying your liaison or if your institution does not have a liaison, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates and Deadlines
|Fall 2019||August 28||September 3 – December 5||December 7|
|Spring 2020||January 22||January 27 – April 30||May 2|
|Summer 2020||May 31||June 2 – July 30||August 1|
|Fall 2020||August 26||August 31 – December 3||December 5|
Your school may have deadlines that are earlier than the ones listed below, so we encourage you to contact your campus liaison before starting an application. If you’re not sure who your campus liaison is, email email@example.com.
|Early Deadline*||Regular Deadline|
|Spring 2020||October 9||November 6|
|Summer 2020||February 19**||March 18|
|Fall 2020||April 8||May 6|
* Applying by the Early Deadline gives you the chance to hear from TWC sooner and be considered for internship sites that have earlier internal timelines. Students who apply by the Regular Deadline will still have plenty of great internship options, but some internship sites may already have closed.
** Some internship sites have timelines that precede TWC’s Early Deadline. These sites include most law enforcement opportunities, as well as some positions in the law/legal affairs and international relations fields, and at various think tanks, government agencies, embassies and museums. If you’re interested in opportunities like these, we recommend submitting your application by January 2020.
How to Apply
Start and submit the online application by clicking the button below. Throughout the process, you can save your application and return to it at a later time. You must include the application documents listed in the section below to complete the application process.
If you're not quite ready to apply or are interested in learning more about our programs, please submit a Request For Information below.
You need to submit the following documents along with your application:
- One-page Resumé: Outline your educational background, honors or recognitions, work experience, activities, special skills, etc. Please include any computer-related expertise or foreign language skills, as well as prior internships and community service activities. For tips on how to write an effective resume, read our resume guide. You can also view some sample resumes here.
- Statement of Professional Interest (approx. 100 words): Broadly describe your internship interests, future career goals, skills you're hoping to gain and ways in which you will contribute to your placement site. Please do not specify the name(s) of any particular organization in this statement. If you need help, read our statement of professional interest guide.
- Issues Essay (approx. 500 words): Reflect on a key issue related to your professional field of interest and demonstrate your written communication skills to TWC and prospective internship site supervisors. If you need more help, here are some sample issues essays for you to refer to.
- Official Transcript: Upload your official transcript directly into your application or request that it be sent to TWC.
- Letter of Recommendation: Your letter must be from a faculty member or professional supervisor. If you have a GPA below 2.75, you’ll need to submit two letters of recommendation. Your recommender will submit their letter directly to TWC through the application.
If you are attending school outside the U.S., you must also submit:
- Your TOEFL score
- Copy of your valid passport ID page
Do students often receive job offers at their internship sites?
TWC students frequently make use of the relationships that they developed during their semester or summer in D.C. to enhance their career prospects, and many are offered positions directly. We definitely encourage networking while you are here!
How does the internship matching process work?
Shortly after you are accepted, you'll take part in a Skype or phone session with your internship advisor. Together, you will define your goals and expectations for your internship, review your resume, explore potential internship site opportunities and discuss next steps in the internship matching process. Throughout the following weeks or months, we'll submit your documents to targeted internship sites. Upon consideration from one of the sites, they will reach out to you and conduct a phone interview. You can expect to have one or several interviews, and once an offer is extended, you ultimately decide if you want to accept it or not.
Are TWC internships paid?
While some students are offered internships that come with some sort of compensation (a small stipend, Metro fare, etc.), the vast majority of sites working with students in our Washington, D.C. Academic Internship Program provide unpaid positions. The Washington Center is an academic program, so you are welcome to explore the scholarships for which you may qualify.
Can I find my own internship and still do TWC?
Yes. However, we recommend you speak with your internship advisor first. This is to ensure that your chosen internship site will provide you with meaningful work, that your supervisor will be willing to complete your evaluations, and that he or she is aware of our program components, key dates and other important details.
How competitive is the program? Will I be accepted?
As long as you are approved by your home institution (if you are an undergrad), meet basic eligibility requirements and submit a complete application, you should expect to be admitted to our program. That said, certain internship sites may be more competitive than others, and the summer is typically more competitive in general for internships in Washington, D.C.
How long until I find out that I’ve been accepted?
Upon submitting your online application, you will be contacted by one of our staff to inform you of what supporting documents we are waiting to receive from you. Once all of those documents have been received, your application enters review. From that point, you can expect to hear back from us within two weeks via email to inform you of whether or not you have been accepted into the program.
You can view TWC's Internship Policies here, which includes information on student conduct, billing, grades, and much more. All students will be expected to follow these policies so we encourage you to review them.