Internships and Study Abroad

The Department of Politics and International Relations is the home of RWU's Washington Summer and Semester program. Students may study in the fall or spring semester or in the summer session. They earn 15 credits during the semester and 9 in the summer working at an internship site of their choice and taking two classes. Students live in housing in DC or close by in Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  The university works with both the Washington Internship Institute ( and The Washington Center ( In recent semesters, students have interned at the Embassy of Kuwait, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Coast Guard Office of International Affairs, CBS News, the Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Washington Parks and People. For more information contact Prof. June Speakman at

Study Abroad

Department faculty frequently join with their colleagues from other departments to lead short-term faculty-led study abroad programs. Each of these programs provide students with an exciting and enriching opportunity to learn politics, culture, history, and local traditions under close faculty guidance. Here are recent programs sponsored by departmental faculty.

  • Professor Joseph Roberts and Professor Peter Alfieri of the Department of Foreign Languages traveled with students to Spain and Morocco to look at Euro-Magrebi political culture in the winter of 2013, winter of 2014, winter of 2016, and is preparing to travel again in the winter of 2018.
  • Professor Ernest Greco and Professor Chris Menton of Justice Studies traveled with students through Europe in the summer of 2013.
  • Professor June Speakman and Professor Alfieri traveled with students for focused language and Core Senior Seminar courses in Valparaiso, Chile in January of 2016.
  • Professor Speakman and Professor Roxanne O'Connell traveled with students to Ireland in summer of 2017 and will again in the summer of 2018 to look at green initiatives in the Emerald Isle.

Student Interns

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anoto.jpgAnthony Noto, a double major in Political Science and Legal Studies, served as an intern at the Inter-American Defense College at Fort McNair in Washington DC during the Fall semester 2017.  He worked in the Institutional Effectiveness department primarily focused on the accreditation of the college. He took a class that focused on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism tactics as well as seminars in leadership, networking and career-building.



aabraham-warren.jpgAleena Abraham, a double major in Political Science and Legal Studies, interned in Senator Elizabeth Warren's office. Aleena says, "Everyday in the office was a new experience. I was able to go to briefings on a weekly basis on a variety of different subjects, and wrote memos on the political and policy considerations of what the Senator was supporting. I also completed projects for various staffers, including research, emails, and having letters signed by other Senators. Every day I also spent a couple of hours answering phone calls from constituents who wanted to voice their concerns and opinions on certain bills coming up on the Senate floor. I also gave tours of the Capitol. I was exposed to many topics within the political world throughout my four months in the nation's capital including healthcare, taxes, immigration, education, and natural disasters. I regularly interacted with other elected officials and was able to meet very influential people such as Lin Manuel-Miranda and Carmen Yulin Cruz. My experience interning in Senator Warren’s office was one that I will never forget and something that truly affirmed my passion for politics and my future plans for a career in this field."

pthaler-baldwin.jpgPhoebe Thaler, a Political Science and American Studies double major, interned in Senator Tammy Baldwin's office. Phoebe writes about her experience, "At my internship with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, I coded constituent correspondence, sorted mail, and took constituent calls. I also wrote constituent response letters and issue memos, attended policy briefings, and gave Capitol tours. I was assigned to the legislative team that worked on women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and disability rights, which is where my passions lie. Through this internship I was able to better figure out what I wanted to do for my career. I enjoyed the experience working on human rights policy and have decided I would like to pursue a policy-based career, either in a congressional office or at an advocacy organization."