Washington Experience

Leadership & Professional Development Program

The Osgood Center Washington Experience is a personalized, academic leadership and professional development program that includes an internship, academic coursework, an experiential education seminar and leadership training. The purpose is to enhance a student’s academic, career, and personal goals to prepare for leadership in the professional world. Of all U.S. cities, Washington, D.C. is among the very best places for a college students to gain new confidence and leadership abilities to make valuable contributions to society in their chosen field.

The Program

The Osgood Center Leadership and Professional Development Program places students in various institutions in the D.C. area for substantive work and experiential learning. Placements are based on student interest and qualifications, contingent on site supervisor selection. Students normally intern four days (32-36 hours) a week. The Osgood Center oversees and monitors the internship and also offers a weekly academic seminar, leadership training, and professional development opportunities. A variety of social activities complement the experience so students can make the most of their time in the nation’s capital. Secure, convenient, and affordable housing options near a Washington Metro station are also available.

The Internship

Pre-arranged Placements: The Osgood Center arranges placements for you based on your application and personal contact regarding your interests and preferences. Some placements, such as the White House, State Department, and Capitol Hill offices may have earlier deadlines, so please let us know your interest well in advance so we can advise you of the need to plan and apply early. Also, if the deadline has passed, we may have some flexibility to accept additional applications depending upon your placement interests.

Potential Placements: There are literally thousands of internships available in Washington at any time. The challenge is to find the right one for you. That’s what we do. The Osgood Center is experienced at finding suitable placements, but whether your internship is a successful one or not depends upon what you would like to do at your internship. That is why it is important for you to speak to us to discuss your interests, goals, and skills as well as your aspirations. Think about the kind of environment you would like to work in and whether you might prefer being part of a team in a public policy advocacy group, a consulting business, or one of hundreds of government agencies in the city. Once you express your preferences, we’ll go to work on your behalf.


Academic Rigor: The Osgood Center offers academic coursework for students based on their academic study plan and school requirements. In addition, there is a weekly two-hour internship seminar that invokes reflective learning and discovery according to established experiential education pedagogies. Students must arrange academic credit through their home institution. Students also submit an evaluation packet that documents the achievement of their self-study plan and their academic, career, and personal goals, which is the product of the internship seminar. The Osgood Center provides a full written evaluation to the student’s home institution along with a final recommended grade.


Leadership development: Throughout the internship, students will be involved in networking, participation at special events, lectures, and discussions, and visits to various embassies in Washington as part of the Osgood leadership development program. Every student participates in the Osgood Center’s Washington orientation and receives personal attention throughout the term to ensure that each is well prepared and that the programming is relevant to each student’s goals and developing leadership interests.


Program dates: Internships are available during the winter, spring, summer, and fall terms or semesters. Terms are generally 8-10 weeks, while semesters are generally 13-16 weeks. The start and end dates are flexible, based upon the institution’s semester or term calendar. Please contact us to verify the dates for the term you wish to attend. Application and Scholarship Deadlines: Summer: March 15; Fall: May 15; Winter/Spring: November 15. After these dates, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.


U.S. and International Students Attending a U.S. Institution: To qualify, a student must have at least rising junior standing (unless stated otherwise by the provider) and must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75. A student must be in good standing with the sending institution and must provide one letter of reference from someone on campus who knows you well. See the online application form.


If your institution is paying the program fee and is being billed directly, there is no application fee. Students who apply and are responsible for the program fee should submit a $50 application fee, which is credited toward the cost of the program. The application fee is not refundable. See the Payment Protocol.


Scholarship awards are available to help reduce the cost of the program for a student and usually range between $250 and $500. To be considered, please include a 100 word statement explaining the need for a scholarship with your application. Program fees paid by an institution do not qualify for a scholarship unless a prior arrangement has been made.

The Osgood Center is a partner of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). Any Washington Experience participant who is a member of an honor society that is a member of ACHS will automatically receive a $500 scholarship, deducted from the cost of the program, unless other financial assistance from the Osgood Center in this amount or higher is awarded. For more information, please visit the ACHS Website.

Program Fee

The program fee for students on a semester calendar (from 11 to 16 weeks): $4,995 The program fee for students on a term calendar (up to 10 weeks) is: $3,995. The cost of housing is additional. Please inquire if you desire to learn more about affordable Osgood Center housing options. These are usually shared bedroom apartments near a Metro station in a secure building and comparable to other Washington, D.C. professional-style internship housing options. Program fees are billed to a student’s home institution according to prior arrangements with that institution. Students responsible for paying the program fee on their own must pay the full program fee no later than 5 days prior to the established check in date.

Program fee includes: Pre-arrival consultation and preparation; placement, orientation, placement site monitoring, customized academic assignments and consultations, experiential education seminar, special tours and briefings, final evaluations and student services.

Refund Policy

Once a student has accepted a placement with the Osgood Center and subsequently drops the program by submitting a written notice, the student is responsible for half the cost of the program fee, regardless of whether one’s institution had originally intended to pay for the program or not. Once a student has checked into the Osgood Center program, the student is responsible for the full cost of the program fee, regardless of whether one’s institution had originally intended to pay for the program or not.

The Osgood Center Washington Experience

The Osgood Center Washington Experience is designed for students seeking a customized experience to meet their own professional, academic, and personal goals. We want our interns to hit the ground running, so the Osgood Center takes special care to ensure that the experience of its students match their high expectations to make the most out of their time in the nation’s capital. Led by experienced academicians with practical experience in the professional world, the Osgood Center prides itself on working closely with each student. We help each student develop a self-study plan and evaluation folder that can be used to not only document one’s learning for academic credit, but also to demonstrate the professional advances that often result in enhanced leadership skills.

Washington, D.C.: Intern City

If there is an internship capital, it is Washington, D.C. If there is a city where youth have extraordinary power, authority, and influence, it is Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia is host to thousands of interns each semester and tens of thousands in the summer. It is an extraordinary place to network, to make new friends, have once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and to watch (or be a part of) history in the making. With one of the best educated populations in the world, Washington is a place where you begin to synthesize all you learned from your college education and recognize the alternative paths to your future leadership endeavors. The Osgood Center welcomes you to Washington to be a part of the excitement this city generates.

For more information:

The Osgood Center for International Studies
1629 K St, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC, 20006
Email: swilliams@osgoodcenter.org
Phone: 202-349-1698, X11698