GVDC FAQ

GV in DC Frequently Asked Questions

What is GV in DC?

GV in DC is a cluster of opportunities for students to work and learn in the nation’s capital.  The most prominent opportunity is GVSU’s partnership with The Washington Center, a provider of internships and academic seminars in Washington, DC.  Students who complete The Washington Center’s program receive a full semester’s worth of academic credit.  Other opportunities include the Henry Scholarship, which supports a congressional intern from GVSU in the summer, and a variety of networking possibilities with the GVSU Alumni Club in Washington, DC.

How does The Washington Center (TWC) program work?

Students participating in TWC complete an intensive internship and academic course in the spring/summer, fall, or winter.  TWC handles internship placement and housing, and it also provides a range of options for the academic component of the experience.  Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for at least 12 academic credits; in consultation with their home departments, these credits can usually be applied to a major or minor.

Do I have to be a political science or international relations major to be a part of the Washington Center?

The Washington Center is open to students of all majors, including non-social science fields.

Where would I intern?

Perhaps the better question is: Where would you like to intern?  TWC has an impressive network of internship providers, including in the executive branch, Congress, international organizations, parties, and other groups.  It offer programs in a wide range of areas, from natural resource management to public relations to international affairs to political leadership.  While most of its internship are located in Washington, DC, TWC also has several international internship opportunities. See TWC's website for more information.

How much does it cost to do a program at TWC?

The cost varies by semester and specific program, but students can generally expect to pay a couple of thousand more dollars for TWC programming than a regular semester at GVSU.  This is largely due to cost of living in Washington, DC, and overhead costs at TWC.

What about financial aid?

GVSU has a formal affiliation with TWC, so students pay GVSU directly. GVSU then reimburses TWC.  That means that students will qualify for regular financial aid through GVSU.  TWC also has several of its own need- and merit-based scholarships.

What is the Henry Scholarship?

The Henry scholarship is another opportunity to intern in Washington, DC.  Every spring/summer session, a GVSU student – the “Henry Scholar” – works in the DC office of one of Michigan’s Representatives or Senators.  The Paul B. Henry Foundation pays a stipend of $2,000 to defray the costs of travel and living expenses, and Scholars receive a tuition waiver for up to 6 credits.  The award is competitive and normally has a deadline in February. For more information, see the political science department scholarships page or contact the department (plsdept@gvsu.edu). 

Are there other resources for interning in DC?

One of our best resources is our group of DC-based alumni, who are always happy to provide connections and advice about working in the nation’s capital.  See the GVDC Alumni Club on Facebook for contact information.  As always, students should feel free to contact Professor Zinman with any questions about interning in Washington, DC, or elsewhere.