Penn Arts & Sciences Logo
Events, alumni networking, courses, and internships for Penn students on campus and in D.C.

Student Blog

Past and current PIW semester participants have shared useful information on where to intern, fellowship opportunities, and living and working in Washington. You'll find those in chronological order below, most recent posts first. Check the sidebar for recently added collections, starting with a semester long blog from the State Department.

  • Spring '16 in DC: Student Profile

    My name is Tim McAuliffe and I'm a social media ambassador for the Spring 2016 cohort. I am a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, currently majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Political Science and Statistics. In spite of the fact that I am a science major and have focused my studies on science and math, I have always had a deep interest in politics and government. In addition, I have always wanted to spend a semester outside of Penn and doing so in DC looked like it would give me a great experience.

  • Fall '15 in DC: Rock Creek Park

    DC may be a small town, but it literally has something for everyone! Tzvetomir Gradevski (C'16) took a trip to Rock Creek Park last week, but he didn't have to venture very far. This serenity can be found just a 2-mile walk from UCDC.

  • Fall '15 in DC: Exploring DC @ NPR

    There is literally no shortage of things to see and do in DC. Last week we took a tour of the state-of-the-art NPR headquarters, where we ran into senior legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg (sound familiar? her voice might!). During our tour, we stopped at the Tiny Desk Studio, home of All Songs Considered, and where many notable musical artists (Macklemore, T-Pain, Adele) have performed acoustically. (Not pictured: losing all self-control in the NPR shop).

  • Fall '15 in DC: Perks of the Job

    As an intern at the White House Office of Management and Budget, I frequently get to tour the West Wing. I actually got to take my family on the White House Gardens Tour this past weekend. In addition, I will be taking them on a West Wing tour next weekend! Here I am outside of the West Wing door that leads to the South Lawn. It is an amazing experience being able to frequent the White House during my internship.

  • Fall '15 in DC: Meeting the Fed

    The life of a Treasury intern: chilling in the Fed board room and running into Janet Yellen. I'd say it was a good day.

    Katrina Truebenbach is a member of the Fall 2015 Semester in Washington cohort. She is majoring in Political Science and interning at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

  • Fall '15 in DC: Touring the White House

    Interesting fact about the White House Briefing Room: the term 'Press Pool' was coined after room's previous use as the White House pool. It was converted to its current purpose during the Nixon Administration, but much of the original wall tiles remain (not pictured). This stop was just one of the highlights of our [ed note: private, after-hours] West Wing Tour.

  • Fall '15 in DC: Exploring DCeats

    Fresh fruits and veggies, delicious tacos and pastries abound at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market, located just a short walk away from the UCDC dorms. This has easily become our favorite weekly ritual and one of our favorite parts of living in DC (just don't forget to bring a reusable bag)!

  • Fall '15 in DC: The Pope Visits

    This week I had the opportunity to sit in the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol to watch Pope Francis address a joint session of Congress. It was incredible to hear his message of progress, inclusion, and unity during such a critical time for our nation. At the end of his speech, Pope Francis came out and greeted the thousands of people who congregated on the National Mall for the occasion.

  • Fall '15 in DC: Birthdays and Bonding

    Our cohort is getting a chance to bond in D.C. - they're checking out all of the great neighborhood food shops located near their UCDC campus together, meeting students studying from other universities, and even celebrating birthdays together!

  • Fall '15 in DC: The Upshot

    Nate Cohn was the guest speaker for our first class of The Communicator's Dilemma, a course taught by Michael Tackett, Deputy Political Editor for the New York Times. Nate covers elections, polling and demographics for The Upshot, a Times politics and policy site. Previously, he was a staff writer for The New Republic. Before entering journalism, he was a research assistant and Scoville Fellow at the Stimson Center, where he contributed to analysis of South Asia and the defense budget.