Washington Semester Program
Participants can select from the following programs: American Politics, Islam & World Affairs*, Foreign Policy, Global Economics & Business*, International Environment & Development*, International Law & Organizations*, Journalism, Justice & Law, Peace & Conflict Resolution*, and Transforming Communities. (*These programs has international travel components)
Seminar Credit (8 Credits)
Under the leadership of a Washington Semester professor, for three days each week you'll participate in intellectual, real-world discussions with professionals immersed in your field of study. These pros are all major players at the local, national, and international levels who are passionate about their stance. They'll present valid viewpoints - and welcome your point of view and challenging questions.
Internship Credit (4 Credits)
Six weeks prior to the semester's start we'll supply you with online access to a database of potential organizations for internships, all relevant to your selected program. We'll provide insight on each organization and contact information. Then we'll connect you with the resources you need to write an effective resume and cover letter to land the internship of your dreams. While your internship course professor will be happy to assist you with your search once you arrive, you should start looking for an internship as soon as you have access to the database.
Research or Elective (3 or 4 Credits)**
At your option, you can choose to conduct an in-depth research project using Washington, DC as a laboratory of information and experience. Or, if you need to fulfill an academic requirement from your home school, you can choose an evening elective class form American University's hundreds of course offerings. (**Centenary Political Science majors are required to enroll in the research project class.)
The first step in applying to the Washington Semester Program is setting up a meeting with Dr. Parker, Assistant Professor of Political Science, to discuss Centenary’s and the WSP’s pre-departure requirements. Dr. Parker will assist you in identifying which program best suits your longer-term goals. You can contact Dr. Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org
All students apply for a Washington Semester program through the WSP Online Application System. Applicants must first create an account and verify their email address before they will be able to log-in to the system and submit an online application.
Online applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but we recommend applying as early as possible as there are a limited number of spots for each program. It is never too early to secure an internship, and once you have been accepted and commit to experiencing Washington D.C., you will gain access to our extensive internship database! Also, some internships require considerable lead time for security screening and processing.
Personal Experience - Jordan Ring (Class of 2013)
This past fall (2011), I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the WSP’s Peace and Conflict Resolution (PCR) Program. I chose the PCR course to better understand conflict and its effects in order to be a better advocate for peace.
The fall PCR syllabus is designed to introduce students to the often overlooked conflict that devastated the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s. The class spent seven weeks preparing before our departure the Balkans by examining the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the various cycles of conflict that led to the eventual outbreak of war in Bosnia. As part of this learning experience, my classmates and I were afforded the opportunity to speak with sitting ambassadors appointed to the United States and other high dignitaries from the Balkans region, published authors who have witnessed then reported on their experiences in the region, and war survivors who have since relocated to the United States.
I chose the Peace and Conflict Resolution program because Bosnia presented a unique cultural experience as it provided a window into a society still grappling with the after effects of war. The people of Bosnia are still haunted by the war as their buildings still bear the scars of mortar shells and sniper marks. I wanted to study the Balkans to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to experience a society that was directly confronted with war to better understand the effects of war on civilian populations.
This course was a life changing experience. This program allowed me to connect textbook accounts of conflict with real survivors of the war. I met courageous men and women who after surviving the siege of Sarajevo have dedicated their lives to promoting peaceful resolution and reconciliation. I made life-long friends from all over the world and as one man from Sarajevo said peacemaking can be achieved through the simple act of making new friends.