TFAS summer 2021 Programs: In-Person + Virtual Formats

The Fund for American Studies is planning for multiple experiential program formats in 2021. We are committed to providing engaging opportunities for academic and professional growth to undergraduate students whether in-person or virtually. We recognize the continuing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and will follow public health and university guidelines.

2021 Programs

TFAS is moving forward with planning for the following two program formats:

  • Format 1: In-Person Program
  • Format 2: Virtual Program

During the application and enrollment process, students will have the opportunity to indicate which program formats they are interested in.

Format 1: In-Person Program
Students enjoying a guided tour of the monuments.
  • Conditions: Public health recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic allow student housing in Washington, DC, in-person classes and some meetings to occur with safety precautions in place.
  • Program Overview: Students are able to spend the summer in Washington, D.C.
    • Internships will be a combination of in-person and virtual opportunities depending on individual sites’ operating procedures.
    • Guest lectures, site briefings, mentoring and professional development activities and will be held partially in in-person and virtually as restrictions allow.
    • There will be a focus on small group in-person programming and outside cultural activities.
Format 2 – 100% Virtual Program
Leadership Scholars Program participants hear from prominent speakers.
Small virtual group discussions enable students to network with prominent leaders from a number of fields and industries.
  • Conditions: The public health recommendations related to COVID-19 are similar to summer 2020 and it becomes impossible to provide in-person classes and student housing. This virtual format will be available to students who wish to remain at home or on their home campus, even if in-person programming is available in Washington, DC.
  • Program Overview: TFAS will offer a 100% virtual program that will bring the best of D.C. to students wherever they are. This will include an internship experience, academic coursework, guest lectures, site briefings, one-on-one mentoring, professional development seminars, career exploration discussion groups, networking roundtables, as well as social engagement with peers.

Summer 2020 Format + Feedback

Summer 2020 students getting together for July 4th Weekend Zoom Celebration.
Summer 2020 students getting to know each other at a virtual Fourth of July party.

Last summer, TFAS quickly worked to transition our in-person Washington, DC-based programs to a 100% virtual experience as our university partners made decisions to close dormitories and move to online learning.

  • Almost 200 students took interactive and engaging online classes taught by highly-rated and dynamic professors.
  • All students participated in a virtual internship, gaining valuable professional experience while learning to navigate remote work.
  • Program participants participated in virtual guest lectures, site briefings and professional development seminars – asking questions of and interacting with experts in policy, international affairs, economics, journalism, business and the nonprofit sector.
  • Students grew their professional network through weekly virtual meetings with a mentor, attending speed networking events with program alumni, and participating in career exploration small group discussions with professionals from various industries and fields.
Quotes from Summer 2020 Virtual Program Alumni

“Although virtual, this has been one of my most meaningful summer experiences. Through TFAS events and my internships, I am learning about endless career possibilities and what excites me about the future.”

Kathleen White, Washington University in St. Louis
Intern, US Global Change Research Project

The variety of programs and educational opportunities have helped me grow as a young professional. I value these opportunities because I get a peek at more people’s career paths. It is helpful to see how people got to where they are today. Just meeting more people and understanding how different people interact and operate is so helpful for someone like me, who hasn’t seen very much of the real world.
Ella Kramer, Wisconsin Lutheran College
Intern, The Wells News

“TFAS has truly adapted for the COVID-19 era. They took a spectacular program and evolved it for today’s climate. The staff has clearly worked tirelessly and it shows in every aspect of the program.”

Phineas Underwood, Wheaton College
Intern, Government Affairs Industry Network

“TFAS has made the transition to online learning and programming so seamless and interactive. Despite not being able to meet in person I still feel like I am known and the people within the program genuinely care about my experience and want to make it the best possible. I have learned so much and have found myself critically thinking and analyzing more and more in my daily life.”

Breely Peterson, Southwestern University
Intern, Running Start
Summer 2020 Alumna Sara Wilkerson shares her remote work space.

“Despite the unprecedented times, TFAS has done an amazing job facilitating conversations with D.C. working professionals that are geared toward each program track. I truly feel like the organization has done everything in its power to give us an unforgettable, virtual D.C. experience.”

Nyvia Delacruz, Fort Hays State University
Intern, The Well News -PR Department

“TFAS has helped expand my network and let me have experiences that I otherwise would have not thought possible. I am grateful for the program for advancing my personal and professional development.”

Aaron Sugarman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Intern, International Center for Terrorism Studies

“TFAS helped me get out of my intellectual comfort zone by offering various topics of interest. This program not only helped me gain insight into governments, economics, and networking, but also about myself and how best to tackle my future after college. ”

Madison Rademacher, Carson-Newman College
Intern, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America