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Spring – International Affairs & Public Policy

Networking & Events

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Capital Semester gives you a backstage pass to Washington’s most powerful institutions that most students are only able to read about.

You will be where history is made and network with those making it. You will meet people and visit places that would not have been otherwise possible.

This program will broaden your professional horizons and academic insights all while having exclusive access to networking and special events, catered specifically to your interests and career goals.

Your time in the nation’s capital will open doors that you did not even know existed.  Let us help you take advantage of all that the world’s most powerful city has to offer.

During my semester in DC I was able to pursue my interest in healthcare policy by working with company leaders at my internship site, attending special events and meetings, and interacting with Congressmen. The Capital Semester program was an all around incredible learning experience.”

Michael McPhie, Utah State University
Intern, Healthcare Leadership Council

Professional Development

Your DC experience will include many opportunities to expand your professional skill set beyond your internship.  From seminars and panels to roundtable discussions and lectures, you will be able to make important career connections and fine tune your skills.

Professional Development Seminars

You will attend numerous seminars throughout the semester, where local professionals offer career advice and tips on how to succeed in today’s changing workplace. These sessions are designed to complement your internship experience and prepare you to stand out in the competitive job market.

Sample workshop topics include:

  • Public Speaking
  • Job Searching
  • Networking
  • Resume, Cover Letters, and Interviewing
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Work/Life Balance

You will take away valuable tips and techniques that will help determine your career goals and how to best achieve success.

Networking Roundtables & Events

You will have many chances to put your networking skills to the test. During the program, you will have access to contacts in your field of interest at events including business receptions, dinners and book discussions.

A past favorite among students is the Alumni Roundtable Networking Dinner, where you will be able to interact with accomplished alumni in various fields.  Many alumni highlight how their LIVE. LEARN. INTERN. experience was a starting point for their career and how they leveraged their DC internship into a future internship or full-time job.

Program alumni can be a valuable connection for you both professionally and socially.  Our alumni network of over 13,000 stretches across the globe.  Many students stay in touch with alumni long after the program has ended and utilize them as resources throughout their career.

“This semester polished my professional skills and will definitely make me a more desirable candidate for employment when I begin to pursue my career goals.”

Katie Reed, Chapman University
Intern, The Heritage Foundation

Briefings & Special Events

In addition to courses and real work experience, Capital Semester gives you behind the scenes exposure to some of the world's most influential institutions and organizations.

You will have a front row seat to a variety of exclusive briefings and uniquely D.C. events, allowing you to delve deeper into your field of interest, make important professional connections and have fun while doing so.

These briefings give you special access to many of Washington’s most exclusive places, many of which are only possible through an organized internship program such as Capital Semester.

You will have the chance to attend once in a lifetime tours and hear from leaders within such powerful institutions as:

  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Reserve
  • The Pentagon
  • World Bank

“Capital Semester has dramatically enhanced who I am, both personally and professionally. I had the fantastic opportunity to work for a U.S. Senator and attend a joint session of Congress. None of this would have been possible if it had not been for this incredible program.”

David Beirne, Chapman University
Intern, Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein

You will have the chance to visit an international embassy and hear from diplomatic corps members about their nation’s current events, economic and political situations, and relationship with the United States.

Past embassy visits include:

  • British Embassy
  • Embassy of Australia
  • Embassy of France
  • Embassy of the Republic of Poland
  • Embassy of Latvia
  • Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Embassy of the Czech Republic
  • Embassy of Hungary
  • Embassy of Croatia
  • Embassy of Chile
  • Embassy of Greece
  • Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office

These briefings and special events will keep you busy throughout the semester as you take advantage of opportunities that many students only dream of. Through Capital Semester, you will broaden your horizon and gain access to an insider’s view of the nation’s capital. This is the real Washington, DC experience.

Mentor Program

One of the many networking opportunities that distinguishes our internship program from others is the optional Professional Mentor Program. Many students rate this component as one of the most valuable aspects of their DC Experience.  In fact, students and mentors often stay in contact well after they leave Washington.

Your mentor will be a contact on the ground before you arrive in DC and is available to answer questions even before you leave your hometown.  Most importantly, your mentor will be in contact with you during your internship and will provide:

  • Tips for living in Washington
  • Career advice
  • Networking contacts
  • Introductions to the best spots in the city for food, fun, and activities

Washington, DC area professionals volunteer to be matched with you and your fellow classmates throughout your semester in DC.  Your mentor will be paired with you based on your field of study, career goals, college or university, hometown, and other factors.

We even host a “Meet Your Mentor Breakfast” where you get the opportunity to meet with your mentor in person and plan your other meetings during your stay in Washington.

“Our personal and professional development was supplemented with extraordinary political contacts, speakers and events that provided each of us with a unique experience.”

Richard Widmann, The College of New Jersey
Intern, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Explore DC

Bring your Washington, DC experience full circle by exploring the social, cultural and historical aspects of this vibrant capital city. You will be exposed to a great deal of professional and academic opportunities, but your program experience will also give you a taste of everyday life in DC.

Social Events

Attend social events to get acquainted with fellow students and see a more relaxed side of the city:

  • Study Breaks - Take a break from your usual obligations to enjoy a few snacks and get to know other program participants.
  • National’s Baseball Game - During the fall semester, catch a major league game at National’s Park and support the home team, the Washington Nationals.
  • The National Zoo - Visit the animals of Washington’s own world renowned Smithsonian National Zoo.
  • Millennium Stage - Attend a free performance at the Kennedy Center, as part of their "Performing Arts for Everyone" initiative.
  • Old Town Alexandria Ghost Tour - Spend an evening touring the streets of Alexandria and hearing about the many ghosts that haunt its historic buildings.

History & Culture

You will gain valuable knowledge and embrace the history of DC by taking part in these great tours and events:

  • Tour of the National Monuments - A professional tour guide will lead you on a tour of the city’s most famous monuments.
  • Mt. Vernon - Spend the day at the historic home of George and Martha Washington located on the banks of the picturesque Potomac River.
  • Newseum - Take a trip through history at Washington, DC’s most interactive museum.
  • National Portrait Gallery – Enjoy a guided tour of one of DC’s most popular Smithsonian museums and don’t forget to stop by the famous Hall of Presidents.

“The program allowed me to tour the White House, visit the State Department, and rub elbows with some of DC's best and brightest. This has been one of the best experiences of my college career, and I would not change it for the world.”

Amanda Buxton, University of Alabama
Intern, Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock

Service & Volunteering

DC’s concentration of leading nonprofit organizations makes it the perfect place to get involved and make a difference in an urban area. As part of Capital Semester, students team up to help serve the needs of the inner-city community and discuss how these challenges affect policy decisions.

Students spend a day volunteering at a local nonprofit.  Issue areas addressed include hunger, the environment, senior services, poverty, education and many more.