Whether your interest is in American politics, economic policy, foreign policy, international business, journalism, or peace issues and conflict resolution, the Washington, D.C., internship program offers a wide array of opportunities for hands-on learning.
There are 11 distinct programs offered through the Semester in Washington, D.C., experience, each with a number of internship opportunities.
Washington, D.C. is the heart, soul, and lifeblood of politics in America. If you want to see how the game is played from the inside, apply for this program which has attracted politically interested students for more than 50 years. As an American Politics student, you will observe in-depth the machinations of our national government. In seminars, students will meet with politicos, key staff, lobbyists, and policy makers to discuss campaigns, current legislative priorities, and hot-button issues. Ultimately, you will gain first-hand experience by talking with the nation's top decision makers.
Your interactive seminar brings you to Capitol Hill, the White House complex, the Supreme Court, campaign organizations, and powerful interest groups. Seminars include talks by influential leaders followed by a question and answer session. Recent subject matters include presidential elections, domestic surveillance, religion and politics, Social Security reform, Energy Policy, ethics reform and homeland security.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, American Politics
The Washington Semester in Contemporary Islam gives you an exciting, unique opportunity to experience the complex dynamics shaping the relationship between Islam and national and international politics.
Muslim communities and the role of Islam have long been important elements in national debates on cultural and religious diversity, civil rights, and American foreign policy. The Washington Semester Program offers you an exceptional opportunity to articulate community interests at the national policy level.
The Contemporary Islam semester combines a rigorous and in-depth investigation of Islamic resources, contributions, and insights with hands-on experience to allow you to develop expertise on Islamic perspectives along with professional skills and political experience.
Seminars and guest lectures by leading experts on Islam in a variety of fields from history, politics, theology, and spirituality to gender issues and culture provide you with a Muslim perspective. While analyzing the current challenges and issues of concern to the Muslim community, you learn distinctly Islamic approaches to:
• peace building, human rights, and conflict resolution
• development, economics, and social justice
• interfaith coexistence, pluralism, and spirituality
• philosophy, science, and art
The Contemporary Islam semester also gives you the opportunity to explore policy-making processes through exchanges and discussions with front-line civil society leaders, think tank experts, and government policy makers. An internship at a key institution gives you a greater insight into the complexities, challenges, and ongoing contributions of the Muslim community to American policy formulation. You will emerge with practical knowledge about effective communication, outreach organization, and policy making.
The Contemporary Islam semester includes an extraordinary three-week academic field excursion to two predominantly Muslim countries, Egypt and Jordan. While in Egypt you stay in Cairo, one of the world’s most fascinating cities.
Through seminars with government officials and scholars at the American University of Cairo, you examine the impact of Islam on the culture and policy making of the Middle East’s most populous country. Particular emphasis focuses on Egypt’s diverse forms of Islam.
Your class also gives you the opportunity to explore the Great Pyramid of Giza and marvel at the beauty and wonder of the Great Sphinx. Later, you can bargain in the Khan-el Khalili bazaar, considered one of the most interesting and important shopping areas in Egypt.
In Jordan, several of your classes are in Amman, the capital, a modern city with an old world touch. You study the Palestinian issue as part of your academic program in Jordan along with the divide between modernization and traditional religion and culture.
The ancient city Petra, considered one of the eight wonders of the world, is also on your itinerary in Jordan. Carved from sheer rock, it served as an important junction for trade routes linking the Middle East with other areas of the world 2,000 years ago.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Contemporary Islam
The Washington Economic Policy Semester Seminar is an intensive examination of economic policy making in Washington. The heart of the seminar is on-site discussions with economic policy decision makers and economic policy analysts. Academic focus will be on global economic policy.
You study in – depth the economic policy – making process in Washington and take an intense look at the vital role of economic activities in U.S. policy. During the first half of your semester, you explore domestic economic policy, including macroeconomics (fiscal and monetary) and microeconomics (labor and employment). You also look at the relationship between domestic banks and the Federal Reserve Board (the Fed). Your seminar’s mix of international and American students allows you to discuss and compare Social Security in the United States with the social insurance systems of your classmates’ home countries.
The second half of your semester is devoted to international economic policy. Current events shape the selection of speakers and discussion topics. For example, the tragic events of 9/11 warranted a visit to the Islamic Center of Washington and meetings with specialists who discussed the effects on U.S. financial markets and with a Middle East and North Africa specialist at the World Bank who briefed the class on the lack of economic development in Iraq. Your semester is unique, as its content is influenced by relevant events occurring at the time you attend.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Economic Policy
Washington Semester students have a front-row seat for the action as foreign policy is discussed, debated, and drafted. As a foreign policy semester student, you have unparalleled opportunities to examine firsthand the emerging issues in international relations through direct interaction with lobbyists, decision makers, government officials, public opinion shapers, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the media, and leading academic experts.
Spend the first five weeks examining the institutions, participants, and processes involved in international policy-making in our country. The remainder of the semester is spent examining specific issue areas such as national security and arms control, the Middle East crisis, international economic policy, and international development. If you want to understand how international events affect your life, personally and professionally, you should consider the Washington Semester Foreign Policy Program!
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Foreign Policy
Once upon a time, international business and trade was the stomping ground of only the grandest and most jet-setting companies. Nowadays things look very different. Taking a company multinational is a necessity not a choice, and more than ever, an opportunity that no company can afford to neglect. During your Washington Semester you gain the knowledge and skills you need to become a marketable asset to the business world. D.C. is an international powerhouse. Seventy-five percent of all multinational companies now boast offices in D.C., and 200 foreign-owned companies are based in the greater Washington area. Several Fortune 500 companies-such as Sprint Nextel, Capital One Finance, Lockheed Martin, Gannett, U.S. Airways, and Marriott-are headquartered in this metropolitan area as are hundreds of international organization, trade and professional organizations and foreign embassies. Furthermore, the D.C. area has become an information technology, Internet, and communications epicenter, home to such companies as AOL, XM Satellite Radio, Oracle, and numerous e-businesses and Web start-ups.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, International Business and Trade
The International Environment and Development (IED) semester combines the seminar in Washington, D.C. with an intensive 3-week field practicum in Brazil or South Africa. The seminar and overseas practicum, conducted in parallel with a two-day-per week internship component and a research project, provide a comprehensive experiential learning program in which students enter directly into the fields of international development and international environmental policy.
Where else, for example, can you directly interact with high level officials at the World Bank or U.S. State Department on a given morning and later that same day meet directly with advocacy groups such as Greenpeace or Jubilee USA to hear their perspectives on the same issues? You might also end up sitting in the offices of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) one morning to hear about international partnerships on HIV/AIDS programs in Africa and later that afternoon sit down with one of the Congressional representatives who helped formulate the new legislation for those same programs. Later in the semester, you may find yourself visiting a project in South Africa or Brazil that was funded through these initiatives that you learned about in D.C.
In the IED semester, students learn about global actors, institutions, and dynamics; national and community-level issues, challenges, and peoples; and the linkages between the global and local levels.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, IED
The Washington Semester in International Law and Organizations focuses upon the expanding role of law in governing relations among nations, while an interdependent world turns to multinational organizations in the making of global policy.
You spend 13 weeks in Washington, D.C., meeting with international law practitioners and visiting organizations that shape policy. Beyond this, you spend a week in New York City for a first-hand examination of the United Nations. You’ll cap your experience by flying to Europe for a series of seminars focusing on NATO and the European Union in Brussels; a visit to Strasbourg to examine the European Court of Human Rights; and then to The Hague for sessions on the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, International Law
Get an overview of government and society in Israel and also the political, cultural, and security ties which bind the U.S. and Israel together. In Israel you’ll meet with key political and military leaders, political parties from across the spectrum, community organizations, as well as everyday Israelis who are passionate about their beliefs.
The United States and Israel have an especially close relationship, and indeed Israel holds a special place in the American imagination. Israel is always in the news and Americans follow events in the country with great interest. A land that is both ancient and modern, Israel is also a fascinating place to discover and study. The Israel semester gives you the unique opportunity to learn about Israel from the perspective of US politics and foreign policy. The semester not only provides an overview of government and society in Israel, but also focuses on the political, cultural, and security ties which bind the U.S. and Israel together.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Israel Studies
Find out what it takes to be a member of the most elite and sometimes most despised groups around during this interactive, experiential semester. You examine virtually every aspect of journalism, from print and broadcast media to feature writing and media relations. You learn how to discover and develop the stories that make headlines, change lives, and destroy careers by discussing journalism with some of the most noted print and broadcast professionals in the industry. Our journalism students come here because they know that Washington, D.C., is where it all comes together-politics, big business, hard news, history.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Journalism
What is “justice” in the United States? It’s an abstract subject, yet it has the power to fuel constant and heated debate. Why do people perceive justice differently? What is the best way to form your own ideas on justice and its implications in the United States? The Washington Semester in Justice is your chance to explore the answers to these questions as you spend 16 weeks in the nation’s capital. You get a close – up look at how the legal system really works and at the people who define justice. The semester sweeps you into the political storm that surrounds issues of justice and introduces you to the experts and to the organizations that deal with the process on a daily basis.
Washington, D.C., provides the perfect venue for your intensive study of justice. It’s the forum for the most ardent political and social debates surrounding justice and home to the experts and institutions that lead the system. Through the Washington Semester Program, you get a rare look inside these organizations and meet personally with leaders and advocates to discuss the most current and compelling topics. The semester adds up to an exciting, once in a lifetime opportunity to gain a thorough and meaningful understanding of the American justice system and its impact on the everyday lives of citizens.
For detialed information visit: Washington Semester, Justice
You will have the opportunity to delve deeply into the fields and issues of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution through the Washington Semester at AU. Only here can you gain background knowledge and realistic view points of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland. By the time you complete the Washington Semester you will have a thorough understanding of the significance of the Washington experience by relating the people and places you meet and visit to the discussion of Peace and Conflict.
The overall program, with its internship and research project components, as well as the overseas trip, emphasizes the importance of integrating theory, research and practice. You will analyze current events related to social and political conflicts around the world with a particular emphasis on conflict resolution models and peacemaking initiatives between individuals, larger communities and nations.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Peace & Conflict Resolution
Explore the institutions and meet the practitioners who determine federal judicial policy in the public law semester. This program traces American public law through its origination, formulation, implementation, and interpretation. Current issues confronting the republic and the processes by which decisions are made constitute the core of the program.
Take an up close look at the pivotal topics of our time and the processes by which the U.S. legal system addresses them. The goal of the Public Law seminar is to provide each student with an advanced knowledge of the first amendment and political speech, operations of the institutions of the government as they fit into a constitutional setting, and civil liberties.
From free speech on the Internet to affirmative action to the finer points of the federal judicial and legislative systems, you discuss and dissect the full spectrum of current public law topics and leave with a realistic view of the possibilities and limitations of politics and government.
Through discussions with a large and diverse set of guest speakers, field trips, as well as an internship, you deconstruct, analyze, and reconstruct the principles that are central to American public law. This semester program is a favorite for future lawyers, and many of our Public Law alums say it is great preparation for law school.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Public Law
Transforming Communities is a public policy program that addresses the concept of community, the factors that make a community healthy, and how forces at the local, state, and national level are used to create and strengthen community.
In fact, Washington DC – from the international to the national to the community level – offers an ideal setting for Transforming Communities. Poverty, ethnicity, globalization and immigration are integral to the program. Washington is also a distinctive learning laboratory for exploring how leadership, grassroots action, advocacy, litigation and government programs can improve communities. Federal policy changes are placing more responsibility on local governments to address their problems. Now is the perfect time to evaluate these changes and to study new initiatives. Students in the Transforming Communities Semester bring their diverse backgrounds, academic disciplines and points of view to the program. In small groups and as a class, you and your fellow participants investigate a wide range of creative solutions.
The most effective way to learn the art of transforming communities is to speak to the individuals who have faced the challenges and experienced the rewards of this work. During the Washington Semester Transforming Communities Program you do just that. You will meet with representatives of all three branches of government, the advocacy and litigation community, grassroots nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and policy organizations.
For detailed information visit: Washington Semester, Transforming Communities
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