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Spring – International Affairs & Public Policy


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Now Accepting Applications for:
Spring 2020 (January 15 - May 2)

Early Deadline: October 8
Final Deadline: November 12

Capital Semester will give you an insider’s view of Washington, the city where news and history is made every day. Get international affairs experience without leaving the country and interact with leaders making public policy.

Spend a semester in the nation’s capital with students from around the country and world who are all passionate about public policy issues and making an impact on the world. The intensive schedule is designed to maximize your time in Washington by combining learning in the classroom with practical internship experience.

Employers are looking for recent graduates with experience, and the best way to stand out after graduation is to complete an internship and make connections now. In fact, employers give twice as much weight to graduates' work experience as to their academic credentials, according to a 2012 survey from the Chronicle of Higher Education as noted in a November 13, 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal.

When you picture your future, do you see yourself writing legislation, going to law school, working as a Foreign Service officer or perhaps researching public and international policy issues? If so, this is the program for you.

Program Format

Capital Semester consists of the following major components:

  • LIVE: Housing in historic furnished apartments in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the oldest residential neighborhood in DC . Just blocks from the US Capitol, the Library of Congress, & the Supreme Court
  • LEARN: Academic courses in international economics and government with credit through George Mason University.  GMU was recently named one of the top 100 research universities in the U.S. by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  • INTERN: Internships with government agencies, public and international policy groups, Congressional offices, embassies, and non-governmental organizations throughout the Washington area.
  • CONNECT: Site briefings at key Washington institutions, guest lectures and panel discussions featuring public policy, foreign affairs and economics experts, professional development seminars, networking events, and much more!

Your participation also includes these exclusive benefits designed to make your semester in DC an experience to remember:

  • Roommate matching with other program students based upon compatibility criteria.
  • Easy access to the safe and affordable Metro train and bus system.
  • Full access to campus resources, including libraries, computer labs and more.
  • Comprehensive orientation to the program, housing and the city upon your arrival.
  • Dedicated program staff members who are available to communicate with you about your internship placement, financial aid and general questions in the months leading up to the program.
  • Continued staff support while you are in Washington to ensure that you have an amazing experience.
  • A mentor program where you will be matched with a DC professional in your field of interest.
  • Planned social events where you can connect with the other student leaders participating in the program. These events may include: a trip to a Nationals baseball game, volunteer projects, a guided tour of the monuments, a trip to Mt.Vernon and much more.
  • An active network of nearly 17,000 alumni worldwide to join upon the completion of the program.

Find Out More

Be sure to check out the tabs to your left to read more about all aspects of the program. We accept applications on a rolling basis, so start your application anytime by clicking on the “Apply Online” link on the left-hand menu. Our staff is here to answer any question you may have – please see “Contact Us” for details on how to reach us.

 “Spending a semester in the nation’s capital with Capital Semester taught me a great deal about working in a professional environment and provided me with valuable insight on what I find important in a future career.”

Rebecca Childress, University of Florida
Intern, Shared Hope International


Sample Schedule

Please note that the  schedule is subject to change.

9:00am - 5:30pm – Internships

9:00am - 12:30pm – Internships
6:00pm - 8:30pm – Constitutional Interpretation

9:00am - 5:00pm – Internships

9:00am - 5:00pm – Internships

9:30am - 12:00pm – International Economic Policy
1:30pm - 3:30pm – Internship Seminar