American University is a launch pad for exploring Washington D.C., headquarters to influential leaders from across the country and around the world. For generations, bright, ambitious young people have gravitated to the capital in pursuit of an ideal, a career, a better world. In this historic city, ideas are debated, causes are fought, and leaders are born.
Not only the seat of the federal government, Washington is also home to a booming high-tech industry, major professional sports teams, and a vibrant arts community. The nation’s capital is both an extraordinarily cosmopolitan city as well as a distinct hometown, with a local identity rich in cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity.
All of the city’s neighborhoods and resources are easily accessible from AU. Within minutes, students can intern at the French embassy, research the human genome project at the National Institutes of Health, study exhibits at the new Museum of the American Indian, or enjoy a performance at the Kennedy Center. Washington presents an unmatched laboratory for a college education.
Student success can often turn on the connection between learning and real-world experience. AU students are specially positioned to connect theory and practice through experiential learning and internship opportunities. AU professors are noted for integrating real-world resources within the curriculum through site visits, speakers, research projects, and community service. Internships provide an important avenue for students to enrich their education. They enhance academic work, help narrow a student’s course of study, and often lead to a future job. Nearly 80 percent of AU undergraduates complete at least one internship, whether in Washington, elsewhere in the U.S., or abroad. More than 60 percent of students who complete an internship earn their first job through the experience.
In exploring Washington while studying at AU, students discover more than just the city: they discover themselves.