Washington DC Placement Program

Washington DC Placement Program

WASHINGTON DC PLACEMENT PROGRAM (January - March 2019)

Offered over the Australian summer break (January to March) the Washington DC Placement Program offers undergraduates a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study, work and live in one of the most dynamic cities in the world. You will complete a professional placement in a wide range of organisations, including in business, entertainment, government, thinks tanks and NGOs.

The placement program is open to undergraduates studying Arts and Commerce at The University of Western Australia. This incredible opportunity allows you to:
  • Gain invaluable international experience
  • Learn about the intricacies of American business, politics, and culture
  • Network with business and government leaders
  • Receive credit towards your degree (a maximum of 18 credit points)
  • Complement your studies through a professional placement
  • Participants will complete two units of study (equivalent to 18 credit points) at Washington DC campuses for credit towards their degrees.


Applications are now closed for the 2019 Washington DC Placement Program

Do you have a question about the program? Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions:

FAQs

 

ABOUT THE PROGRAM - ELIGIBILITY & IMPORTANT DATES

Eligibility

Before students submit their application, they must ensure that they can commit to the important dates in addition to meeting the following requirements:
  • Minimum WAM of 65% credit average
  • Have a current passport and be eligible for a US visa. (NB: If your passport is not valid for 6 months past the program end date, you will need to apply and receive your new passport prior to apply for a Visa).
  • ​Through personal and academic qualities demonstrate a potential to be an outstanding ambassador of your home institutions and faculties including the Perth USAsia Centre, the United States Studies Centre, the University of Western Australia and the University of Sydney
  • Cultural awareness and understanding, as well as a specific interest in the United States of America is desirable
  • Please note that before students submit their application, they must ensure that they can commit to the important dates.
Additional requirements
For consideration in the Washington DC Placement Program, students must have completed at least 48 credit points of study (by the end of Semester 2) and be currently enrolled in a University of Western Australia:
  • Arts undergraduate degree  (including combined degrees)
  • Commerce undergraduate degree  (including combined degrees)
Please note: this program is open to international students; however students should refer to the Embassy of the United States to clarify specific visa requirements before applying.
 

IMPORTANT DATES

Students must agree to abide by the following dates at the time of application. 

Current dates are accurate up to Stage 2. The following dates will soon be updated for the 2019 Washington DC Placement Program accordingly. 

 
   
Stage 1. Application and offers  
Applications open Monday, 6 August 2018
Applications close Midnight on Monday, 20 August 2018
Interviews Wednesday, 30 August and/or Thursday, 31 August 2018
Main round of offers Friday, 7 September 2018
Acceptance of offer, F-1 request form and AU$1000 deposit due Friday, 14 September 2018
Stage 2. Pre-departure - COMPULSORY  
Visa session Early November 2018 (TBC)
I-20 forms distributed to students for visa interviews Early November 2018 (TBC)
Interviews at the U.S. Consulate Early November 2018 (TBC)
Pre-departure session and Seminar Wednesday, 28 November 2018 (full day)
Stage 3. Fees  
Deposit of AU$1000 with acceptance of offer Friday, 14 September 2018
Full program fees due Friday, 9 November 2018
Last day to withdraw and receive all fees paid, less deposit Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Stage 4. UCDC  
Depart Perth/Arrive Washington DC Saturday, 5 January 2019
Orientation at UCDC Monday, 7 January 2019
Professional placement commences Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Professional placement ends Thursday, 7 March 2019
Depart Washington DC Saturday, 9 March 2019
Stage 5. Post-program  
Arrive Perth Monday, 11 March 2019
Final Student Presentations Mid-Late March 2019 (TBC)
Welcome home reception TBC

ABOUT THE APPLICATION - HOW TO APPLY, COSTS, SCHOLARSHIPS

HOW TO APPLY

If you are interested in applying for the Washington DC Placement Program in 2019, please express your interest above.
 

costs

The cost of the Washington DC Placement Program is a combination of three fees program package fee, the University of Sydney Business School tuition fee for the professional placement unit, and additional costs.
 
Please note: the program package fee is quoted in US dollars, as the majority of the costs covered under this fee are payable in US dollars. However, the final amount payable will be in Australian dollars and the exchange rate will be determined one week before the deadline for the final fee payment.

Remember to look at the Scholarship section below for ways of assisting your program costs.

1. Program Package Fees

The program package fee must be paid in Australian dollars and the exchange rate will be determined one week before the deadline for the final fee payment (see Important Dates).  Participants will be given information on how to submit their payment once accepted to the program.
 
Item Fee in USD
  • University of California Washington Center units (choice of two from all evening courses on offer)
  • Accommodation for 9-weeks
  • Activities in the US
  • Health and travel insurances
  • Administrative costs
  • Pre-departure seminars and cultural activities in Washington DC
USD $9200

2. UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY UNITED STATES STUDIES CENTRE TUITION

University of Sydney United States Studies Centre USSC2605 WDC Placement Program unit:
     Local CSP Band 5
     Local Full Fee AU$4125*
     International AU$4500*
* this is an indicative cost only as actual fee is determined by your enrolled course

3. ADDITIONAL COSTS

Students are also responsible for the following costs:
  • Visa application and lodgement costs for an F-1 visa to the United States. Refer to the Embassy of the United States for details.
  • Return airfares to Washington DC and airport transfers
  • All meals, entertainment costs and personal expenses
We estimate that these extra costs for the WDC Placement Program are approximately AU$5000 but will vary depending on personal circumstances.


REFUND POLICY
  1. In the event that the Washington DC Placement Program is cancelled, students will receive 100% refund of program fees.
  2. Upon accepting their offer, all students must pay a deposit of AU$1000, which will only be refunded if the program is cancelled, or if your visa is denied.
  3. Students who withdraw from the Washington DC Placement Program prior to close of business on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 will receive a full refund of any program fees paid, less the AU$1000 deposit.
  4. Students who withdraw from the Washington DC Placement Program after close of business on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 will not receive a refund of any fees paid.
  5. Applications to withdraw from the Washington DC Placement Program must be received in writing and lodged with the Perth USAsia Centre by the relevant date. The Perth USAsia Centre requests that students withdraw no later than Tuesday, 30 October 2018.


Scholarships

MERIT AND EQUITY BASED SCHOLARSHIPS
ThePerth USAsia Centre and the United States Studies Centre will offer some partial merit and equity based scholarships to support students participating in the Washington DC Placement Program. The Centres will determine the number and total value of the scholarships.

Students wishing to be considered for a partial scholarship are required to complete the scholarship question on the application form and if relevant, attach supporting documents. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on financial need, merit, leadership capabilities and extracurricular achievement.

OS-HELP LOAN
Eligible students will be able to apply for an OS-HELP Loan. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses. Students can apply for a maximum loan of up to $6,567.  For more information, please click here.

STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP
Eligible students will be able to apply for a $1500 Study Abroad Scholarship. The University, in recognition of the importance to its students of having an opportunity to devote part of their course to study overseas, having made available a sum of money to provide scholarships to cover travel and other costs associated with study abroad.  This Scholarship is administered by the Study Abroad Office. For more information, please click here

HECS
Please note that as the University of Sydney United States Studies Centre USSC2605 WDC Placement Program unit is a Local CSP (Commonwealth Supported Place) Band 5, this is able to be put on HECS.

ABOUT ATTENDING - STUDY UNITS, PLACEMENTS, ACCOMMODATION, TRAVEL

 

sTUDY UNITS

The Washington DC Placement Program has been designed to give students an understanding of the US political system in the heart of the nation’s capitol. Students will complete courses alongside students from the University of California campuses, as well as visiting students from other universities across the US.  During their time on the placement program students will complete two courses offered by the Unviersity of California at the UCDC facility and one course offered by the University of Sydney United States Studies Centre USSC3703. This unit, offered by the University of Syndey's Business School, is compulsory for all students accepted into the program. The unit involves students undertaking a professional placement in Washington DC as well as preparatory coursework in reflective and professional practice and concurrent coursework on research methods, reporting and other professional writing skills. Assessment will include a reflective journal, research essay, and oral presentations based on the internship professional placement and study abroad experience. 

For the remaining two courses students will be asked to rank the a provided list of evening seminars and electives offered by UCDC in order of preference and will be placed into two units according to UCDC processes. These courses are commonly related to law, politics, diplomacy, international business and relations and other similar fields.

It is not a requirement to obtain credit towards your degree for completion of the study units, but it is desirable.  

Please click here for the units of study.
 

PROFESSIONAL Placements

Students on the program will be allocated to a professional placement relevant to their field of study or interest.  Students will intern four days a week, Monday through to Thursday for the duration of the program.  Though the skill set for each internship will vary, the same core requirements will hold for all: professionalism, integrity, strong oral and written communication, research skills, and the ability to work as part of a team.

During this placement students will gain invaluable work expeirence in one of the most vibrant American working landscapes, make long-lasting professional contacts and be involved in significant organisations close to the heart of government. Students in past programs have previously interned at varied placements including: 

  • American Enterprise Institute (AEI): AEI is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare. Internship opportunities are available in the following overarching areas: economic policy, foreign and defense policy, social and political studies, public relations, The American online magazine, publications editing, marketing, government relations, and communications.
  • Asia Foundation: The Asia Foundation, is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that is committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Asia Foundation will host up to two interns to work in its Washington office to staff its program series of lectures, roundtables and conferences with policy makers from the region. 
  • Capitol Hill: There are number of placements available with members of Congress and Senators. These include Congressman Peter Roskam, The Republican's Deputy Chief Whip, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D), Congressman Brian Bilbray (R), and Senator James Inhofe (R). Students interning on the Hill will do a range of duties from responding to calls from constituents, giving Capitol tours, research for staff, and working on special projects.
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS): CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center’s 220 full-time staff and large network of affiliated scholars conduct research and analysis and develop policy initiatives that look to the future and anticipate change. Since 1962, CSIS has been dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world. After 50 years, CSIS has become one of the world’s preeminent international policy institutions focused on defense and security; regional stability; and transnational challenges ranging from energy and climate to global development and economic integration.
  • Council of the District of Columbia: This placement opportunity is in the office of Councilmember Tommy Wells of the Council of the District of Columbia (Washington DC). The internship includes a variety of responsibilities including research for staff and special projects, in the areas of regulation, transportation innovation, and other areas of government-business relations.
  • DC Office of Planning (OP): The DC Office of Planning performs planning for neighbourhoods, corridors, districts, historic preservation, public facilities, parks and open spaces, and individual sites across the District of Columbia. In addition, it engages in urban design, land use, and historic preservation review. OP also conducts historic resources research and community visioning, and manages, analyses, maps, and disseminates spatial and US Census data. The internship includes a variety of responsibilities including research for staff and special marketing and other communications projects related to general DC planning and matters pertaining to the city's business district. 
  • Downtown Business Improvement District: The Downtown Business Improvement District, is a private non-profit organisation that provides capital improvements, resources and research to enhance downtown Washington DC. The organisation will host up to three interns to work on special projects assessing the state of the downtown area and strategies for raising funds to improve it.
  • East-West Center: The East-West Center established by the US Congress in 1960, works to promote better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific. It will host up to two interns to support the mission of its Washington office - to prepare the US for an era of growing Asia-Pacific prominence.
  • Global Giving: Global Giving is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support for social enterprises aimed at working to educate children, feed the hungry, build houses, train women (and men) with job skills. Interns will work on special projects to assist in the work of the organisation including micro-financing.
  • International Economic Development Council: The International Economic Development Council, a non-profit membership organisation dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively, will host up to three interns to work on their disaster recovery and sustainability programs of research and policy implementation.
  • Rio Tinto: Rio Tinto is a leading global mining and metals company. Our focus is on finding, mining and processing the Earth's mineral resources in order to maximise value for our shareholders. We have the people, capabilities and resources to supply a world hungry for metals and minerals. Construction, communication, recreation, transport, healthcare and renewable energy: all these industries, and many more, rely on the products we supply.
  • Sidley Austin LLP: Sidley Austin is a global law firm, with 17 offices around the world. The student on this placement will work primarily with Sidley Austin's international trade and dispute resolution practice group, which provides services to clients in the area of: customs, export controls and economic sanctions; trade remedies; trade and investment policy and negotiations; foreign investment reviews; disputes arising under the World Trade Organization or free trade agreements; disputes arising under international investment treaties; international commercial arbitration.
  • The Institute of International Finance:  The IIF is a global association of financial institutions created to meet the changing needs of the financial community. Members include most of the world’s largest commercial banks and investment banks, as well as a growing number of insurance companies and investment management firms. Among the Institute’s members are commercial and investment banks, sovereign wealth funds, asset managers, hedge funds, insurance companies, multinational corporations, law firms, export credit agencies, multilateral agencies, development banks, and other organizations providing products and services to financial services community. Interns will work on projects related to the work of the organisation.
 

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation will be provided for the entire duration of the program in the fully contained UCDC building. The building is located opposite the Australian Embassy and five blocks from the White House. It includes residential apartments for over 270 staff and students, as well lecture halls, seminar rooms and recreational facilities. 
All students must stay in the accommodation provided by UCDC. This is a requirement of the course. Students are not permitted to stay with family or friends or to otherwise arrange their own accommodation under any circumstances.

Students will have access to the following UCDC residential facilities:
  • 24-hr Fitness Centre
  • Computer Lab
  • Recreational space
  • Laundry rooms
  • Cable TV and Wi-Fi
  • Mental Health Services
  • Residential Life
  • Terrace
 

travel

Flights

Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Washington DC. Students should arrive in Washington DC and move into UCDC on Saturday, 5 January 2019 or Sunday, 6 January 2019

Students are also strongly advised not to make any international travel plans until their US visas have been approved. If for any reason you have not received your visa, you will be responsible for any fees for changing your flights. Please be reminded that the US Consulate takes your passports to process your visa.  

All students are asked register their travel and contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade prior to leaving Australia. To do so, register your travel and contact details here

Embassy of Australia
1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036-2273 
Telephone: 
Facsimile: 1 202 797 3331 
Website: www.usa.embassy.gov.au
The UCDC campus is located opposite to the Embassy of Australia.

Insurance

The program package fees include health insurance coverage provided for UCDC students through UCLA Extension. In addition, UWA provide travel insurance coverage to enrolled students travelling on approved university business, student placement and student exchange programs. For information on the policies, visit the UWA Website.

Students are also strongly advised to ensure that they have sufficient funds while in DC to cover the payment of unforeseen medical expenses, as US doctors and hospitals may require cash payment upfront for treatment. These expenses can generally be claimed on return to your home country through your travel insurance provider.


Passports and visas

It is the responsibility of all participating students to ensure they have a valid passport upon application to the DC Placement Program. Note: your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the end of the program date. If your passport is due to expire within 6 months of the program end date, you must apply immediately for a new passport upon being accepted into the program.

The Perth USAsia Centre will guide all successful applicants through the F-1 visa process at the first pre-departure session, although it is the sole responsibility of each student to obtain their visa in a timely manner.  Prompt return of information and completion of documents required will be detrimental to the process and issuance of Visas.

Please refer to the US Embassy for all visa requirements.

PROGRAM CONDITIONS

PROGRAM CONDITIONS

By submitting an application you agree to the following program conditions:

Selection criteria and application process
• All applicants must be currently enrolled in a University of Western Australia Arts or Business undergraduate degree (including combined degrees).
• All applicants must have completed (or will complete by the end of 2018) at least 48 credit points of their degree, with room within their degree progression to accommodate an additional 18 elective credit points.
• All applications will only be accepted via the online application form.
• Applications close on 20 August 2018. No late applications will be accepted.
• The Perth USAsia Centre and United States Studies Centre will administer all applications and enquiries for the program. Correspondence and applications should be directed solely via the online enquiry form and will not be received by the University of Western Australia Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education or the University of California Washington Center (UCDC)
 
Important Dates
• Students are required to attend the full program from 5 January to 7 March 2019.  Before students submit their application, they must ensure that they can commit to the important dates.

Units of study
• All successful applicants will enrol in a total of three units of study: USSC3703 Washington DC Placement Program (enrolled via the University of Sydney) and two UCDC units from a list of approved options.
• Upon successful completion, students will be eligible to apply for a total of 18 credit points towards their degree at USYD or UWA. (6cp for USC3703, and 12cp of credit from UCDC). Please note: the credit will be unspecified electives, and will not count towards any of your majors or specialisations, and credit will be determined by USYD or UWA in accordance with their policies and procedures.

Professional placements
• Placements will take place from 5 January to 7 March 2019. Students will return to Perth for the third week of semester.
• Successful applicants will be placed within a business, government, non-government or media organisation for a period of approximately nine weeks.
• As far as possible, students will be allocated to placements based on their educational background and interests. However this is dependent on availability and it cannot be guaranteed that a student's role will be directly related to their particular area of study.
• Students will work four days a week, Monday through to Thursday. Students will be required to commit to the specific work hours required by the internship host.
• All placements will be unpaid.
• Students must not attempt to facilitate work placement arrangements in the US on their own.

Behaviour
• Students are required to sign and comply with the Behaviour Contract.
• The University of Sydney Business School, the University of Western Australia Faculty of Arts, the United States Studies Centre, the Perth USAsia Centre, the University of California Washington Center and internship organisations, require all students to perform their respective duties in a professional manner and to abide by the normal work ethics and conditions as set by the host organisations.
• No student shall misrepresent the University of Sydney Business School, the University of Western Australia Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, the United States Studies Centre, the Perth USAsia Centre, the University of California Washington Center or host organisation in any way. Inappropriate use of the institution's name and resources, either professionally or otherwise may result in the immediate termination of the student from the program.
• The University of Sydney Business School, the University of Western Australia Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, the United States Studies Centre, the Perth USAsia Centre, the University of California Washington Center, and host organisations are entitled to remove any student from the program deemed to seriously misrepresent any of these organisations or the program as a whole.

Visa and travel arrangements
• Students are responsible for their visa application and lodgement costs. Details on costs for an F-1 visa are available through the Embassy of the United States.
• All students must pay the SEVIS fee prior to booking an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate.
• Students are strongly advised to not make any international travel plans prior to the program start date until their US visas have been approved. If for any reason a student has not received their visa before their early travel dates, they will be responsible for any fees for changing their flights.
• The US Studies Centre will endeavour to ensure that students receive their visa in time for commencement of the program but will not take into consideration other travel plans.
• Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Washington DC.  Students must arrive at UCDC on 7 January 2018 to check into their accommodation.
• Students are required to attend two Perth USAsia Centre pre-departure sessions which will be held in October and November 2018.
• Students are covered by University insurance but it is their responsibility to understand the level of cover provided under the University policy and make their own arrangements to supplement the policy if need be.

Costs
• A deposit of AU$1000 is due by 14 September 2018.
• The full program fees are due no later than 9 November 2018.
• Students are responsible for additional costs including visas, return airfares and transfers, food and entertainment costs and any other associated costs.

Refund policy
• In the event that the DC Placement Program is cancelled, students will receive 100% refund of program fees.
• Upon accepting their offer, all students must pay a deposit of AU$1000, which will only be refunded if the program is cancelled, or if your visa is denied.
• Students who withdraw from the DC Placement Program prior to close of business on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 will receive a full refund of any program fees paid, less the AU$1000 deposit.
• Students who withdraw from the DC Placement Program after close of business on 30 October 2018 will not receive a refund of any fees paid.
• Applications to withdraw from the DC Placement Program must be received in writing and lodged with the Perth USAsica Centre by the relevant date. The Perth USAsia Centre requests that students withdraw no later than 30 October 2018.

Accommodation
• The United States Studies Centre will liaise with UCDC to organise accommodation on the UCDC campus.
• For the full duration of the program students must agree to abide by the US laws in relation to the legal age for consumption of alcohol.
Media
• Students consent that photographs or film recordings taken in connection with the DC Placement Program may be used for marketing purposes by the University of Sydney Business School, the University of Western Australia, the United States Studies Centre, the Perth USAsia Centre, or the University of California Washington Center.

Confidentiality
• Student information as required for administering all aspects of the program will be transferred from the relevant faculties at The University of Western Australia to the Perth USAsia Centre or the United States Studies Centre.