Academics > Off-Campus Opportunities

Off-Campus Opportunities

Coe has a Washington Term Program in which political science students are encouraged to participate. It involves living in Washington, D.C. for the entire fall term and taking a first-hand observer course in American government and a part-time internship--usually in a governmental or interest group office.

This is what recent participants have to say about that opportunity:

Josie Visser met the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Enda Kenny during her internship at the Irish Embassy.

Josie Visser
Spring 2012

“While in Washington DC I interned at the Embassy of Ireland. There was never a dull moment, I made amazing friends, learned far more than I expected, grew as a person and did NOT want to leave. If I had to pick one event of DC Term that really changed my life and is able to describe the true nature of what DC term is all about, it would have to be the two days of events for Saint Patrick's Day at the Embassy.

I spent both days with the Embassy Press Secretary, Ralph, and the Irish Media. Day two’s events included a formal announcement of the direct flights from Dublin to Washington DC (kind of a big deal...connecting our capitals and all!!); a black tie dinner and drinks at a local pub.  Day two started with the Irish media the Vice President’s house. Luckily the rain soon stopped and it actually turned into a great day (Smity, the Secretly Service agent from the White House did predict the weather correctly after all!) Next we went White House (oval office meeting with President Obama and the Irish Delegation) then on to the Capital (meetings with Senators and Representatives) then to the Fairmont Hotel (for the Ambassador’s reception) back to the White House (WH reception) and finally to the Ambassador’s Residence. It was an amazing learning experience and I got to meet some extraordinary people that I hope will serve as valuable connections in the future.

Needless to say, I could go on and on and on about DC and all the amazing experiences I had both as part of the Embassy staff and in DC in general.  I would suggest Washington Term to anyone and everyone. It will be the experience of a lifetime.”

Marquita had an internship at the Department of Transportation and enjoyed the DC landmarks in spring 2012.

Marquita Wiggins
Spring 2012

“DC term was a great experience for me. Not only did I learn a lot at my internship, I was able to really experience DC and the surrounding area. In DC I interned at the Department of Transportation, there I was able to see how the bureaucracy works and attend congressional hearings. In my free time I went to the many free events and places that DC offers like parades, street festivals, Passport DC, and museums. The best parts of DC term for me was the other CHIP students who were also doing internships and the trips we would go on as part of the CHIP program. Living in the same house with students who go to different schools was great we were able to really get to know each other and become great friends. In the CHIP program we went to Philadelphia, Mt Vernon, and Monticello as well as other places.

I encourage everyone interested in DC term to go, it’s a wonderful experience.”

Political Science faculty and students also participate in many May Term classes each year.  Dr. Lanegran and Dr. Chaimov (Department of Foreign Languages) took students to Berlin, Germany and The Hague, Netherlands to study human rights and international human rights law in May 2012.

This is how Julianne Kopriva describes her experiences:

“We went to Berlin and the Hague to learn about human rights and international justice. The first half of the trip we spent in Berlin and the surrounding area learning about the horrors of the Holocaust. This lead to the Nuremberg Trials held after the war, in which leading Nazis were tried and most were convicted for the crimes they committed. We visited the site of these trials and saw the courtroom in which they were held. The Nuremberg Trials set the stage for all human rights laws and laws concerning crimes against humanity, and it was really amazing to see the place where they happened. We continued our trip into the Netherlands and stayed in the beautiful city of Delft, about a half an hour away from the Hague. We got to travel into the Hague and see the ICTY and the ICC. The security was tight, but we were able to get a glimpse into the international justice system. Not only did I learn a lot through this trip about human rights and the Holocaust, but I also had a lot of fun living in Berlin and Delft for a few weeks! They were both beautiful and it was incredible to be there.”

Julianne Kopriva (front row) enjoys a Berliner on the spot where President John F. Kenney addressed the people of divided Berlin in 1963.


Other off-campus programs are well-suited to political science majors, including ACM programs in Botswana, Chicago, Costa Rica and India.

Internships, either full-time or part-time, are also possible in other locations. Past examples include working in local government offices in Maine and Iowa, presidential campaigns, a U.S. senator's office, the Illinois and Iowa legislatures, and the local office of legal assistance.