Applying for the Internship
Applications close for 2015 on 8 August 2014. Students interested are urged to very carefully follow the instructions and consult with Prof Don DeBats in advance of submitting the application. Two important parts of this application are the resume which should be one page as set out in the application and the statement of interest explaining why you wish to be an intern in the US Congress. The statement is read very carefully by the selection panel and by Congressional Offices and it is important that this statement be a convincing document.
Getting to Washington
The easy part of getting to Washington is the plane ride. The difficult part is the Visa. To be an intern in the US Congress requires a State department Visa called the J1. There is a long process involved in first, securing the application for the J1 and we work with Australian American Association (AAA) in New York City to issue the DS2019 which is another State Department document. Once this has been completed by the interns and our partners in Washington, it is submitted to AAA in New York in anticipation of the J1 Visa being granted. To acquire the J1 requires an interview at the US Consulate in Melbourne. The students travel to Melbourne together and meet with the US Consul General as part of this process.
Working in Congress
The US Congress is a vast set of buildings centred on the Capitol but with the actual Congressional Offices in adjoining buildings. There are three House office buildings (Cannon, Ford and Rayburn) and two Senate office buildings (Hart, Dirksen and Russell); this is where your offices will be located. There are many newspapers and magazines that focus extensively on the activities of Congress. These include the New York Times and Washington Post, the two most important general newspapers in Washington, and these should become part of your daily reading. More specialised publications include Politico, the national political editor of which is Charles Mahtesian, one of our partners in the internship program.
Living in Washington
Students will stay at ‘The Congressional’, an apartment building on Capitol Hill. The Interns walk to work in the nearby Congressional Offices. This apartment building is owned by Washington Intern Student Housing, the company with which we have worked with for many years to provide accommodation for our Interns. The furnished apartments are self-contained and include television and internet facilities.