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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.

  • Fall '15 in DC: What's Orientation Week Like?

    The first week of the Penn In Washington Fall 2015 semester has been amazing!! We arrived in Washington D.C. last Sunday. After enjoying a wonderful meal at Nando's, an African restaurant, we spent the first day of orientation getting to know one another. Andrew, Alexa, Jacques, Raheem, and I decided to take a picture in front of the White House on the beautiful Monday evening in our nation's capitol.

  • UCDC Virtual Tour

    What's it like to live in D.C.? Social media ambassador Rashan Prailow takes us on a virtual tour of the University of California's D.C. campus, where the semester students live for fifteen weeks.

  • Taking Classes with Penn in Washington

    The Penn in Washington Semester Program is unique for many reasons – it offers a place to live in the heart of D.C., opportunities to network with leaders in Washington, and a chance to hold a prestigious internship during the academic year. One of the most exciting aspects of the program, however, are the classes. Each semester, Penn in Washington offers three classes (which count for four credits) that focus on various aspects of public policy and the political process.

  • Walk Like A Politician: My Penn in Washington Orientation Top Ten

    College senior Alison Nadel is spending this semester living, interning, and taking classes in D.C. During the first few weeks of the Penn in Washington Semester in D.C. program, she was able to explore the city, meeting with Washington insiders and touring some of D.C.'s top tourist attractions. Find out which orientation experiences made Alison's Top Ten list.

  • Living in DC

    Wonder what it's like to live in D.C. for a semester? From the dorms to the food to the millions of touristy things to do, College junior Sarah Engell shares her favorite things about living in the city with Penn in Washington.

  • Penn in Washington Professors: Interview with Dr. Colleen Shogan

    The Penn in Washington semester consists of working a formal internship and taking classes that aren’t offered on Penn’s campus. These classes are specialized and offer unique opportunities for students interested in politics and American governance. Dr. Colleen Shogan, the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and an Adjunct Professor of Government at Georgetown, teaches a class for Penn in Washington called Regular Order: Congressional Procedure and the Policy Process.

  • Featured Internship: Capitol Hill

    One of our Fall 2014 Semester students, Anthony Iannarelli, interned on Capitol Hill last semester - read what he had to say about the experience below!

  • The Five Secrets No One Tells You about Internships

    Melanie Wolff is a junior studying Urban Studies. She participated in the Penn in Washington semester during Fall 2014. She interned at Achieve, Inc. – one of the top education reform non-profits in the US. This previous summer, she interned for the Helmsley Charitable Trust in New York City as their Education intern. She can be reached at See below for some great advice from Melanie:

  • Featured Internship: The Brookings Institution

    This week's featured blogger is Priyanka Varma, a fifth-year senior from the College majoring in International Relations. Rather than graduating last spring, Priyanka chose to stay at Penn to explore the world of politics in a more in-depth way, by participating in the Penn in Washington fall semester program. Read on as she shares her thoughts on her internship.