A Domestic "Abroad" Experience


The number of cool programs that the College offers its students is incredible. This semester, I am participating in the Penn in Washington program, a semester-long opportunity for students interested in public policy to live in Washington, D.C., intern full time at a public or private agency of their choosing, and take interesting Political Science courses on topics such as the U.S. Presidency and foreign policy. After being here for only a month, I have already learned so much about the field I want to go into and the culture of our nation’s capital.

    The first week we were here was Orientation Week, where we traveled around the city to take tours of places such as Capitol Hill and meet with interesting professionals, such as Hill staffers, lawyers, and judges, who work in DC. The cohort really learned a lot about networking in DC through that week, as well as how the federal government works. This week culminated in group presentations on how policymaking occurs in DC at the federal level.

    Since orientation, I have been working full time at the United States Department of Education in its Office of Innovation and Improvement. Specifically, I work on one of their Teacher Quality Programs called Teacher Quality Partnerships, which is a grant program that allocates federal dollars to universities to reform their colleges of education and set up non-traditional programs that allow professionals already in their career but wanting to switch over to teaching obtain their certifications. ED is a really cool place to go to work everyday--it’s right off of the National Mall, and it has a great cafeteria and fitness center within the building.

    I’m so grateful for this unique opportunity to study and learn more about political science in the best place to do so. I’m most looking forward to seeing what the environment down here starts to look like as the election heats up going into November!

Patrick Z, C'18