From Thanksgiving on, study abroad is one of the most discussed topics on Campus among second year students. While not technically an “abroad” program, the semester in Washington D.C. is one of the opportunities students discuss in the winter and spring months. In my opinion, the Washington Semester is one offering that distinguishes Holy Cross from some other similar liberal arts colleges.
The program lasts for one semester. Roughly half of the students accepted to the program go to D.C in the fall, while the other half attend the spring semester. Holy Cross has deep connections in Washington, meaning the internships that many current students apply to are places at which other Holy Cross students have made strong impressions. One can find a list of just some of the impressive internships that past Holy Cross students have had here.
The program consist basically of three parts. First, every student takes a public policy seminar. Second, each student completes an internship. Third, each student completes a 40-50 page research thesis about their respective internship. Irrespective of the nature of their work experience, it is easy to see how the Washington Semester would prove to be an invaluable experience for any student considering a life in law, politics, policy, academia, etc. It shows a great deal of responsibility and academic promise if a student can manage an intensive seminar, a full time internship in D.C. and complete a substantial writing assignment. Even students interested in public or global health should apply, as there are plenty of internships in Washington relating to health care and medical ethics, to name just a few.
Internships and career- related work experience are aspects of college life that can sometimes be stressful. Over the summer, many students are looking for something paid. The great thing about the Washington Semester is that it is built right into one’s academic year. It is one’s only focus during one semester of junior year. When else would it be feasible for anyone not local to the D.C. area to spend 14 weeks in one of the busiest cities in the nation? The Washington Semester is just example of how strong the Holy Cross network is. Take advantage of it if you find yourself here!