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Academic Internships

Washington, DC, has a wealth of internship opportunities. Illinois in Washington students have interned for nonprofits, congressional offices, government agencies, think tanks and more. IIW will help you find an internship.

Classes In Washington

IIW is open to all majors. Fall and summer students take 3 classes for a total of 12 credits. Summer students take the 6-credit core internship seminar.

Life in Washington DC

IIW students live in shared housing a few blocks from the Capitol and easy walking distance from the metro. Students intern full-time four days a week, with classes on Fridays and Monday evenings. Weekends and evenings are yours to explore Washington, DC.

Professional Development

Illinois in Washington combines your academic and professional learning. Students have weekly visits to different organizations in Washington to learn about the broad range of interests and professions in DC. IIW matches students with mentors and provides networking opportunities with recent IIW graduates.

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Why Should I apply?

  • Expand your knowledge and skill sets
  • Learn about opportunities in DC
  • Gain insight into future educational and career decisions
  • Broaden your academic learning and apply it to the real world
  • Live and work in DC while taking U of I classes
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What students say

Many students hesitate to apply for Illinois in Washington because they believe the search for internships will be too difficult, the program is too expensive, and that DC is too far from home. These were the same concerns I had before submitting my own application for the program. After completing the program, I was glad that I did not let these challenges stop me from gaining one of the best experiences that I have ever had in college. My experience was positive because I applied for jobs early, I found a paid internship, and I made many new friends.

- Lisette Washington

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Participating in a semester internship through Illinois in Washington was single-handedly the most important choice I made during my four years at the University of Illinois. I learned networking skills, had my resume professionally edited, and gained exposure to the various organizations and companies that make up Washington, D.C. Throughout the experience, I was able to meet top industry leaders, non-profit executives, and government officials and learn about their paths to success. One of the most awesome experiences was taking a Public Policy course literally steps away from United States Capitol. Whether you're a Political Science major or not, IIW is a great experience for students of all disciplines!

- Alana Rubin (Fall 2012)

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A semester in Washington was a great opportunity for professional development, and it was by far the most formative experience of my undergraduate career. I learned so much at my internship, and I have developed skills that I can apply to future positions. Living in DC, attending panel discussions and networking events, and participating in the IIW informational site visits opened my eyes to the intense variety of interesting jobs available in and around Washington.

- Ashley Luer (Spring 2014)

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The Illinois in Washington Program is one of the best decisions I made in my four years at U of I. I came to college with the desire to work in government and politics, but like most students, I was uncertain how to begin. IIW gave me the incredible opportunity of working in an engaging, fast-paced internship on Capitol Hill and provided me with the resources to continue a career in politics after graduation.

- Jenny Baldwin (Summer 2013)

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IIW was the best summer I spent as an undergrad and one of the best overall experiences I had while I was at Illinois. I was able to do meaningful work during my time as an intern, learn more about real life work and politics than any of my classes, make valuable connections, and meet some of the coolest people my age. I was also able explore one of the nation's biggest cities and took advantage of all it had to offer. Doing IIW with your classmates creates a bond that doesn't end once you leave Washington and the experience lasts forever. IIW has helped me with interviews, other job opportunities, as well as personal development. I had a wonderful time and I would do it again if I could.

- Karim Popatia (Summer 2013)

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Who is eligible?

  • Open to all U of I undergraduates, all majors welcome.
  • An interest in Washington, DC, politics or policy.
  • You must be a full-time student, with at least 45 credits and 1 year of residency at a college or university, and have a GPA of no less than 2.5 on a 4-point scale.
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