Abroad at AU | Internships

In their free time, Abroad at AU students may apply for and participate in unpaid, non-credit internships at businesses, NGOs, government agencies and multilateral institutions in the Washington, DC area. However, the scope of the Abroad at AU program is primarily academic, and internships are not a main component of the program. Interested students are responsible for finding and obtaining their own internships. Admitted students create an online student portal that allows them to utilize American University's award winning Career Center for help with internship searches, resume and cover letter writing, and other career guides. Because internships in Washington, DC can be competitive it is recommended students begin the process of creating a resume and working with the Career Center before they arrive in country, especially if the student will only study at AU for one semester.

Featured Internships

Sian McGee, an Abroad at AU student who interned for Human Rights First.

Sian McGee

University of Queensland, Australia
Abroad at AU Student: Spring 2011

During her semester at American University, Sian interned at Human Rights First on Capitol Hill. Interning at this non-government organization she was able to give practical effect to her legal studies by working on domestic human rights legislation and interviewing refugees and asylum seekers for placement with pro bono legal representation. Interning within an active policy advocacy organization also directly exposed her to the structure, processes and functions of American government. Sian's time at Human Rights First gave her first hand experience with American approaches to international problems and greatly enriched her exchange experience both professionally and personally.

See Sian's blog posts about her internship on American University's Career Center Web site.

Carl Huang, an Abroad at AU student interns at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation.

Carl Huang

National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

Carl participated in two separate internships, first at the Center for Asian Studies at AU in the fall semester and then at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation in the spring.  The Foundation is a think-tank focused on relationships between the United States and Asian countries.  Through his internship Carl had the opportunity to meet policy makers, hill staffers and cooperation leaders who have expertise in the US and Asia, such as the former US ambassador to Japan.  Over the course of five months Carl assisted in more than seven different programs ranging from US-Japan fellowship, policy dialogues, and Web-publications, to roundtable discussion.  He also assisted in the Foundation’s Web site renovation.

See Carl’s blog posts about his internship on American University’s Career Center Web site.

Walter Levia, an Abroad at AU student who interned for the Organization of American States.

Walter Leiva

Universidad Centroamericana, El Salvador
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2009 - Spring 2010

Walter interned at the Organization of American States in the Office of the Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin. He was responsible for keeping everyone in the department updated on current news related to reconstruction efforts in Haiti and other key issues. He also prepared documentation about the current economic and political conditions of member states.

Walter interned four times a week along side his full course load. Reflecting on his internship he said that "it was not easy at all, but in those moments when I felt like giving up I just thought of how lucky I am to be here and how all that I'm doing right now will have an impact on my professional and personal development. All the people I met, the events that I attended and all I learned about this organization and its work is a valuable gift that I'm very grateful for."

Qiong Wu

Beijing Foreign Studies University, China
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

During the academic year, Qiong interned for the Chinese Service TV team at Voice of America, a multimedia international broadcasting, service funded by the U.S. Government. Her internship gave her a wide range of practical experiences that will help her pursue a future career in broadcasting including translating, writing, video editing and field shooting. Qiong's biggest projects included narrating the Mandarin version of Cultural Odyssey, a TV program about American culture for a Chinese Audience, and editing the VOA's news podcast Daily Download. The highlight of her internship was being involved in the live radio broadcast of the 2008 presidential election and working on the National Mall during President Obama's inauguration.

Valentine Pasquesoone

Sciences Po Lille, France
Abroad at AU: Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

During her time at American University, Valentine interned for the International Affairs Forum, the web journal of the non-profit organization the Center for International Relations. This internship allowed Valetine to combine her two interests of journalism and international relations, focusing on the Middle East and the European Union. Valetine independently conducted interviews with important scholars and policy experts on a variety of issues. One of highlights of the internship was Valetine's work on a team that compiled articles for a comprehensive journal on NATO.

Greg Church on the steps of the Capitol where he interned for Congressman Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico.

Greg Church

University of Exeter, England
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2009

To compliment his Political Studies major, Greg found an internship in the office of Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (New Mexico - 3rd District). He learned about how Congress is far more than 435 Representatives and 100 Senators. Greg's experience working on Capitol Hill shed new light on the American legislative process. He gained vaulable hands-on experience dealing with all kinds of people from across the political spectrum. "Working on 'the Hill' and being able to wander around the Capitol and bump into the most powerful politicians in America has been one of the best experiences of my life," said Greg.

Daeun Kim

Yonsei University
Abroad at AU: Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

Daeun interned at the KORUS House, the public relations center of the Korean Embassy. Through this internship, Daeun was able to enhance her understanding of the current issues of U.S.-Korean relations and gain first-hand experience in public relations. Daeun also had a second internship at the United Nations Association in the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), a nonprofit organization whose chief purpose is to build public support for ideals and works of the UN in the greater Washington area. As a communications intern, she created and edited bi-weekly e-newsletters and assisted with managing and publishing articles on the UNA-NCA website. These internships provided Daeun with hands-on experience participating in diplomatic events as well as an excellent opportunity to broaden her knowledge of international affairs.

Mario Alberta Esparza Perez

Tecnologico de Monterrey-Campus Monterrey, Mexico
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2008

Mario interned as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, an organization that works with local government, companies, and civil society in 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to create programs that adress major development challenges. In his role at the bank, Mario gained first-hand experience in efficient and responsible financial reporting procedures through working with the credit risks classification system and by preparing transcations.

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