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UNITED STATES - The Washington Center

During a challenging semester or summer immersed in dynamic Washington, D.C., you’ll have an experience that’s just not possible in a traditional campus setting. When you leave the program, you’ll be equipped with the confidence and sense of purpose to thrive in a highly competitive global marketplace. And you’ll be prepared to make a lasting impact on your community and society at large.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

 We don’t like to brag, but our neighborhood, NoMa, is one of the coolest and ‘most connected’ neighborhoods in D.C. You’ll be in the middle of it all with easy access wherever you need to go.


The Washington Center’s Academic Internship Program is a rigorous experience. This credit would be awarded directly by your home institution, not by TWC. Students receive 4 credits for successful completion of the program:

Internship - 2 credits

LEAD Forum Seminar - 1.25 credits

Elective Course - .75 credits

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

When you apply to The Washington Center, you select a professional track.  Throughout your experience, you’ll benefit from activities (such as panel discussions, site visits, and briefings) specially designed for students interested in business and international relations.

  • LEAD Colloquium Groups

    The Washington Center produces not only future leaders in their career fields but also well-informed citizens who are engaged with their communities and world. By taking part in the LEAD Colloquium (which was previously known as the Leadership Forum) every Friday, you get to hear from and engage with professionals in a variety of settings. You also get involved in the D.C. community and make a real difference. LEAD stands for Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, and Development. You’ll meet regularly with your academic program advisor in a group of around 16 students to have discussions about critical reflection, leadership, and more.

  • Elective Course

    An evening academic course is an integral part of your learning experience at The Washington Center. You’ll be able to choose one from approximately 30 courses typically offered each semester or summer term.

     All courses meet for three hours one night a week but are otherwise like courses taught on your campus. In many cases, they have a direct relationship to the work you’re doing throughout the week and range from politics and business to international affairs and communications.

    The courses are led by highly qualified faculty who are dedicated teachers. They are grounded in traditional disciplines yet taught within the context of the wide array of resources offered in Washington, D.C.

  • The Portfolio

    While in Washington, D.C., you will create a portfolio of your work, documenting your activities and accomplishments for your home institution and prospective employers. Your portfolio will also give you a chance to reflect on your strengths and plan strategically for your future path of leadership.

  • Goals of the portfolio

    • To show growth and improvement personally, professionally, academically, and civically.
    • Sharpen leadership abilities.
    • Reflect on personally significant work or experiences.
    • Present work in an organized format.

    Components of the portfolio

    • Career Marketing Reflection
    • Informational Interview Reflection
    • Civic Engagement Reflection
    • Capstone Reflection
    • Work samples (from internship and academic course)
  Internship Opportunities

The Washington Center serves students in most academic majors with interests in a wide variety of fields. These include the government, nonprofit and business arenas as well as many others that may partially overlap with them—the worlds of media and communications, science and technology, law and criminal justice, and international affairs. Let us know your interests and goals and we’ll find you substantive and exciting internship options.

TWC internships give you the chance to work almost full time, allowing you to feel like a member of the staff at your office. You may assist attorneys during a trial, evaluate capital markets, help in radio or television production or attend congressional hearings. You could be conducting research, advocating policy positions, writing a business plan or developing websites and databases. The possibilities are endless.

At the end of it all, you’ll not only be in a more secure position in today’s marketplace but also much more confident about your talents your future.

Additional Resources

Housing and Meals

The Washington Center Housing

You won’t live in dormitories. Instead, you’ll share an apartment with other TWC interns, either in our Residential and Academic Facility at NoMa near Capitol Hill or in one of a few other carefully selected buildings all near a station on Washington’s Metro subway system.

Best of all, you’ll live with fellow students and get to know people from not only the United States but also around the world. You’ll participate in a variety of social activities, trips, and adventures with your colleagues. And at the end of your program, you’ll have created friendships that remain strong long after you complete your internship.

You’ll live independently, with meals on your own, but you won’t be left totally on your own. With its staff of student services professionals and alumni in residence assigned to each building, The Washington Center ensures that support is available 24 hours a day in case of an emergency.

Housing Details

The locations, layouts, and amenities vary, but most units provide:

  • Convenient access to shops, restaurants, and stores
  • Fully furnished and equipped with air conditioning
  • Fully equipped kitchens
  • Laundry facilities
  • High-speed wireless Internet, cable, and local phone access
  • 24-hour front desk coverage and/or secured-access buildings
Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the direct enroll to The Washington Center program includes orientation, on-site coordinators, airport pick-up, double-bedroom housing, and college fees. Meals are not included.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 201/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item



Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year.


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office