The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Washington, DC Summer Internship Program offers undergraduate and graduate students a ten-week professional, academic, and career opportunity internship in the nation’s capital. The program features a demanding mix of professional involvement, intellectual challenge, career exploration, and cultural encounters designed to provide interns with a rich and varied experience during their time in Washington.
- Professional work experience: Interns are placed with one of over a dozen Near East and Arab world-related organizations in Washington, D.C., where they are expected to work 35-40 hours per week under the direct supervision of their host organizations.
- Academic seminars: Interns take part in twice-weekly seminar sessions designed to provide them with greater depth of knowledge about the Arab world, to underscore the cultural, economic, and political diversity of Arab states, and to explore the intricacies of Arab-U.S. relations. There will be a particular emphasis, though not exclusively, on Arabia and the Gulf.
- Site visits: Interns receive a behind-the-scenes look at many of the central institutions of federal government, national security policymaking, international diplomacy, and international business.
About the Program
The National Council’s Summer Internship Program offers professional work experiences combined with twice-weekly evening seminars that bring academic experts and experienced foreign policy practitioners to meet with the interns in candid off-the-record discussions and dynamic question-and-answer sessions. Its objectives are:
- to provide a realistic Washington, D.C. work experience that will pave the way to career development;
- to offer interns firsthand exposure to the foreign policy analysis and advocacy processes in Washington, D.C.;
- to incorporate a strong academic component focusing on U.S. political, economic, and cultural relations with Arabia and the Gulf region;
- to help participants begin the process of career networking by introducing them to working professionals in government, business, journalism, and NGOs; and,
- to highlight the wide range of career opportunities awaiting those who aspire to work in the field of U.S.-Arab relations, as well as to provide counseling on graduate school and fellowship application processes.
As complements to the program, interns will also be exposed to D.C. in a less formal manner via films, cultural events, embassy and museum visits, off-the-record conversations with former diplomats, group dinners, and suggestions for exploring the sights and sounds of Washington, D.C. This allows students to not only experience working in the city, but also encourages them to appreciate the experience of living in a diverse urban environment, and to take advantage of the exciting cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities available in the nation’s capital.
The program is administered by National Council professionals and staff, together with more than two dozen of America’s foremost scholars and leading foreign affairs practitioners. The programs, activities, and functions represented by the organizations and corporations that provide the professional work experience component of the program are varied. Included among placements in recent years have been educational development and exchange organizations, bimonthly and quarterly publications, humanitarian relief groups, broadcasting networks, area studies centers, international transportation companies, foreign trade associations, peace and justice advocacy groups, and a variety of non-governmental organizations.
Cost and Fellowship Stipend
A $125 non-refundable program fee must be submitted with the application. This fee helps to defray the costs of administering the summer internship program and the accompanying seminar presentations. Internship program participants, upon successful fulfillment of the program’s academic and internship requirements, will receive a $1,000 fellowship stipend.
How to Apply
Interested undergraduate and graduate students, or recent graduates, are asked to submit the following materials prior to the application deadline in order to be considered for acceptance into the Summer Internship Program:
- Letter of Interest: Describe why you are interested in the program and how it fits into your academic and career goals, background, experience and interest in the Arab world, and any other information you think is important for the selection committee to know. Please limit the letter of interest to one page single-spaced, or two pages double-spaced.
- Writing Sample: Compose a short paper on the topic “U.S.-Arab Relations: Assessing the successes and failures of American policy toward the GCC since 2008.” Papers must be in Times New Roman font, size 12, double spaced, and may be no longer than three pages. Use citations where necessary.
- Résumé: Most students need only one page for a resume, which should be neatly formatted.
- Official Transcripts: Submit official transcripts for all university-level work. Candidates may submit an additional letter explaining special circumstances that may have contributed to low (under 2.5) or inconsistent GPA or an excessive number of dropped or failed classes. All transcripts must be official. Official transcripts are those sent directly by the institution, or sealed in a separate envelope by the institution and released to the student. Some institutions facilitate electronic submission of official transcripts. Institutions may take several weeks to process transcript requests, so please plan ahead.
- Letters of Recommendation: Submit two (2) sealed letters of recommendation, or have the recommender mail them directly, from faculty members or others who know your academic work well.
- Application Fee: Submit a check or money order in the amount of $125.00 (non-refundable) payable to “National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.” This fee must be paid in order to be considered. And,
- A signed Internship Program Application [link below and available at ncusar.org]
Special consideration will be given to applicants who have participated in the National Council’s Model Arab League program, but this is not a requirement for selection as an intern. Supplementary materials such as newspaper articles or writing samples that are not required or requested will not be considered during the review of applications.
Internship Program Application:
All materials must be postmarked by Friday, February 24, 2017. The National Council may review and accept applicants on a rolling basis prior to the final application deadline. Materials may arrive separately, such as official transcripts mailed directly by your college or university or letters of recommendation. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that all materials are postmarked by the deadline. Late materials will not be considered.
Over 375 students have participated in this program to date. Some have joined the U.S. Foreign Service. Several work as staff to Members of Congress or congressional committees dealing with matters of foreign policy. Many have proceeded to graduate school to obtain their masters degrees or doctorates in international relations with an emphasis on the Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world. Some have been employed by the National Council and other non-governmental organizations. Still others have become professional foreign affairs journalists or work with influential multinational corporations. These are just a few of the opportunities that program alumni have encountered.
Chairman: Dr. John Duke Anthony, Founding President and CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; Member, U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and the Committee’s Subcommittee on Sanctions; and consultant to the U.S. Departments of State and Defense (since 1973 and 1974, respectively)
Coordinator: Mr. Zach Hrynowski, Student Programs Associate, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
Estimated cost for ten-weeks of student housing in Washington, D.C. is $2,000 – $2,500, not including meals and incidentals. Detailed information will be provided to assist interns in locating reasonably priced student housing at area universities, summer sublets, or other student housing facilities.