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International Affairs

Networking & Events

The International Affairs track gives you a backstage pass to Washington’s most powerful institutions that most students are only able to read about.

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You will be where history is made and network with to 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.

“Through the program I was able to experience what life as a Washingtonian was really like. I met hundreds of people from the FBI, DHS, DOD, DOE, and DOS. From ambassadors to senators to judges - I was able to meet them all. The networking opportunities TFAS presents us with are incomparable. Talking with so many government executives, I had the experience of a lifetime.”

Jeremiah Folia, California State University
Intern, National Defense University

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.

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 have access to weekly seminars, where local professionals offer advice and offer 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:

  • Job Searching
  • Networking
  • Fellowships
  • Public Speaking
  • Resume, Cover Letters, and Interviewing
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Graduate School Admissions
  • Year of Service Opportunities
  • Work/Life Balance

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

“My internship was a very rewarding experience. I was able to learn about each part of the Embassy and work for multiple sections and various people. Everyone was very nice and I am happy to say I feel like I am a part of their family.

Elizabeth Loiselle, Washington College
Intern, Embassy of The Dominican Republic 

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 more than 17,000 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.

Briefings & Special Events

In addition to courses and real work experience, The International Affairs track gives you behind the scenes exposure to some of the city’s most influential institutions and organizations.

You will have a front row seat to a variety of exclusive briefings and uniquely DC 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 restricted places, many of which are only possible through an organized internship program such as The International Affairs track.

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

  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Institute of Peace
  • United Nations
  • United States Capitol – Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • World Bank

“The program truly lived up to its motto of Live. Learn. Intern. It was a neatly packed eight weeks of working, studying, exploring, networking, along with lots of like-minded people and happy hours! I would suggest anyone with an ambition greater than oneself to be part of this transformative program and get an opportunity to live in the most powerful city in the world.”

Akshat Jain, Tufts University
Intern, Ashoka

Another highlight of your time as an International Affairs track student will be the Walter Judd Freedom Award Ceremony, which is presented annually to an individual who has worked for freedom throughout his or her career.  Past winners include President Ronald Reagan, Senator John McCain, Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, and Dr. Harry Wu.

If you are like many students seeking to gain a broader international perspective through your DC experience, then you’ll want to mark your calendar for the program’s annual Embassy Briefings. 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 Brazil
  • Embassy of Chile
  • Embassy of the Czech Republic
  • Embassy of Estonia
  • Embassy of France
  • Embassy of Greece
  • Embassy of Hungary
  • Embassy of Israel
  • Embassy of Japan
  • Embassy of the Republic of Korea
  • Embassy of the Republic of Poland
  • Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office

These briefings and special events will keep you busy throughout the summer as you take advantage of opportunities that many students only dream of. Through this program, 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 Programs

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 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

Over 300 Washington, DC area professionals volunteer to be matched with you and your fellow classmates throughout your time 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.

“TFAS prepared me to live and work in D.C. as an insider, with invaluable networking and academic aspects that I couldn't have experienced anywhere else.”

David Hackworthy, University of St. Thomas
Intern, Lockridge, Grindal and Nauen, P.L.L.P.

Small Group Networking

Throughout the program, leading DC professionals in your field will host you and a few other students for a engaging discussions in an intimate small group setting, often over breakfast or lunch.

From an insider, you will learn about important topics affecting job seekers in your field:

  • Day to day responsibilities of entry level and senior positions
  • Pressing policy issues
  • Current climate for finding a job in your field
  • Typical starting salaries
  • Advice on job searching

Discussion leaders include top lobbyists, nonprofit executives, journalists, Capitol Hill staffers, Foreign Service officers and policy makers.

This is the perfect opportunity to practice your networking skills and ask questions about leveraging your DC experience into a future internship or full-time job after graduation.

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:

  • Ice Cream Socials & 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 - 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 its "Performing Arts for Everyone" initiative.
  • TFAS BBQ - Attend this annual event with TFAS alumni, mentors, and fellow students.
  • Volleyball Tournament - Get some exercise and have some fun playing volleyball with other students on beach courts right under the Lincoln Memorial

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.
  • Jazz in the Garden - Visit the National Sculpture Garden on Friday evenings throughout the summer to admire unique works of art while enjoying live jazz music.

“I can’t pick just one favorite activity or experience. What I do know is that this won’t be my last time in DC!”
Leilani Livingston, Brigham Young University
Intern, Department of Defense

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. On Service Saturday, students team up to help serve the needs of the inner-city community and discuss how these challenges affect policy decisions.

Students visit a number of service sites, including those listed below. Issue areas addressed include hunger, the environment, senior services, poverty, education and many more.

  • Jubilee Jobs
  • Trust for the National Mall
  • Washington Parks & People
  • Food and Friends
  • IONA Senior Services
  • Martha’s Table
  • Living Classrooms