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Internship Guide

Information for all stages of the Internship process: before, during, and after

Washington Internship Institute - Basics

Looking for an internship in a non-profit or government organization?  Interested/willing/able to do your internship away from home and the college in Washington, D.C.?  Then the Washington Internship Institute (WII) might be the program for you.  There is an application process for the program, in addition to paperwork required by Central Penn.  If accepted into the program, staff at the WII will help you find and apply for internships at many different organizations in the D.C. metro area.  Housing is a required piece of the study-away program.

Please contact the Internship Coordinator, Kristin Fike (717-728-2213, for more information and to start the application process.

FAQs - Washington Internship Institute

The Washington Internship Institute (WII) has detailed information on its website:

There is also a Central Penn-specific page on the WII website:

Other questions not answered below?  Please contact the Central Penn College Internship Coordinator, Kristin Fike (717-728-2213,

Q: What is the Washington Internship Institute (WII)?

A: Washington Internship Institute (WII) is a nonprofit organization which assists students in obtaining internships in the Washington, D.C. area.  WII also provides housing opportunities for its interns as well as academic coursework.


Q: What types of organizations would students intern with?

A: WII interns have worked for many different organizations, including:

Internal Revenue Service, US Chamber of Commerce, US Department of Justice, CBS News, National Public Radio (NPR), US Department of Education, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Wildlife Federation, National Archives, National Museum of American History, and Women's Foreign Policy Group. 

See the Where You Can Intern page on their website for a longer list.


Q: What are the costs associated with the WII?

A: Doing an internship with WII involves paying tuition just as doing an internship through Central Penn does, because you earn academic credits.  WII has tuition rates listed on its website, but because Central Penn has a relationship with WII, Central Penn students pay the same price for tuition as they would for credits here.  Financial aid can also be used for internships through WII--you will need to discuss your situation with the Central Penn Financial Aid office.

A. Housing is the other major cost you will need to address for the WII internships.  Housing is available through the program, but the cost is not covered by financial aid.  Current housing costs are listed on the WII website.


Q: When can I do my internship?  Are there specific dates?

A: WII runs their programs on specific dates during the year, with three sessions: Spring, Summer, and Fall.  Each session has an application deadline determined by WII.  Central Penn students can participate during any of those sessions.  You will need to work out the timing with the Central Penn Internship Coordinator, as well as with the staff at WII.


Q: What will I do on my internship? Will I do more than clerical work?

A: According to the WII website section for potential Internship Site Hosts: "Substantive responsibilities are essential, since most students receive college credit.  No more than 20% of the intern’s time should be spent on clerical work."  Examples of what interns have done include:

  • attended congressional hearings and briefings for their internships on Capitol Hill
  • responded to trade inquiries at the US Department of Commerce
  • composed blog posts and op-eds at the Sierra Club
  • helped plan gala events
  • conducted research at the Library of Congress
  • implemented training sessions at the Smithsonian Institution
  • assisted in efforts to develop an AIDS vaccine at the National Institutes of Health

A: In addition to the hours spent at your internship site, students in the WII program also take 2 courses from the Washington Internship Institute.  One course is the Core Course which will have a focus on aspects of policy and policy-making processes.  The core courses offered are usually either "Inside Washington: Politics and Policy" or "International and Foreign Policy Studies."  Occasionally Special Topics core courses are offered.  The other course is an Internship Seminar, which has content similar to the Blackboard component of Central Penn's Internship course and includes opportunities for analysis and reflection of the internship experience in addition to working on professional skills such as resume writing and interviewing.  You attend these courses with other students in the WII intern program.


Q: How many credits will I receive for an internship through WII?

A: You will earn 12 credits for the internship.