A semester in D.C.


The Washington Seminar program offers students the opportunity to earn credits and intern in the nation’s capital. The program welcomes students of all majors to apply for a chance to live and study in D.C.

Director of Washington Seminar Scott Dunaway said, “all kinds of backgrounds can have a good experience with it (Washington Seminar).”

It is a two-part program that gives students both the academic and internship experience.

Olivia Earnshaw, senior international relations major from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, said, “it was rewarding. Not super stressful, no tests, no quizzes.”

Students intern for four days each week and have one day of class instruction. Usually the particulars of the internships are determined after being accepted into the Washington Seminar program. However, some students apply to the program after already having an internship lined up in D.C. Either way, before going to D.C. all students  are required to take the internship program preparation class.

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Jason Brand, Morgan Jones, Carli Schneider and Trevor Sperry pose in front of the Washington Monument
Jason Despain, from Casper, Wyo., who graduated from BYU in April, participated in the Washington Seminar during Winter Semester of 2012. Despain was introduced to Washington Seminar by Economics Department Chair Eric R. Eide. Eide asked Despain of his plans before graduation and suggested taking the opportunity to intern with the U.S. Treasury Department in International Affiars focusing on East Asia.

Despain said, “The internship was through Washington Seminar, so I spoke with Dr. Dunaway and unofficially applied for Washington Seminar as I simultaneously applied for the internship.”

Students accepted into the program have the option to stay at the Milton A. Barlow Center, BYU-owned housing complexes on Pennsylvania Avenue, nine blocks west of the White House and four blocks north of the infamous Watergate Hotel.  Most participants of the program choose to stay in the Barlow Center due to its location and price.

Despain described the Barlow Center as an “affordable, fun atmosphere, (with a) fun social life.”

A press release reports that the Spring-Summer Washington Seminar had internships with ABC’s Good Morning America, the Holocaust Memorial, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Earnshaw described her internship with the Department of Commerce as feeling like “I was a really integral part of the office.”

The Washington Seminar will be hosting information meetings this week today at 11 a.m. in 2111 Jesse Knight Building and Friday at noon in 238 Herald R. Clark Building. Students interested in the program are invited to attend one of the meetings and can visit washingtonseminar.byu.edu. for application and more information.

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