Loyola University Chicago

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New Program to Immerse Students for a Semester in D.C.

New Program to Immerse Students for a Semester in D.C.
By: Tim McManus, SOC Web Reporter
 

One of the benefits of studying communication in Chicago is the access to the massive media market in the nation’s 3rd largest city.  With a campus two blocks from bustling Michigan Avenue, SOC students have multiple opportunities to connect with potential employers who are literally in their own backyard.

Starting this fall, however, Loyola students will have the chance to say the same about their proximity to Capitol Hill.  A new program, a Semester in Washington, D.C., has been created to offer undergraduate students of any major the opportunity to immerse in the government and public policy sector of our nation’s capital.

“This will be the first time that we’ve had our own program in Washington, but by no means is this the first time we have sent our students to intern in D.C. We have worked for years with other universities to get our students there.  But, there were limitations because it wasn’t our own program, and we knew the demand was much greater,” said Philip Hale, Loyola’s Vice President of Government Affairs.

The Semester in Washington, D.C. program is designed to be intensive. Students will be placed in a four day-a- week internship relevant to their major and gain experience working in areas such as government agencies, news media, public relations, non-profits, think tanks, and international organizations.

In addition to the internship and a weekly seminar, students will take two electives that combine communication and political science, including Political Advocacy and Political Communication. All courses will be taught by Loyola faculty.

“Students could learn about politics and government in the most important city for each. Then they have the opportunity to complete a significant internship in a journalism organization or learn public relations or advocacy from folks who practice in the nation's capital,” said Don Heider, Dean of the School of Communication.

Although students will be living in D.C. for an entire semester, they will often be working closely with Loyola alumni, who know about the transition from Chicago to D.C. and can give advice based on first-hand experience.

“One of the huge benefits of this program is the involvement of a group of alumni who work in D.C. They generally graduated recently, and most of them I know quite well. They are going to be a really important component for this.  Most of them work on the Hill or for other agencies, and they are going to mentor the students,” Vice President Hale said. “Students will have a mentor who is a Loyola alum, who has been working and living in this environment and can share everything they know.”

Interested undergraduate students, who will have junior or senior standing in the Fall 2016 semester, should apply through this application