Internship takes UC student to Washington DC

Internship takes UC student to Washington DC

Alison Dance

29 April 2013: A University of Canberra student has had a unique opportunity to see the inner workings of the United States Congress during a two-month internship in Washington.

Final year arts student, Elizabeth Flora, who is majoring in media, communication and event management, was one of 11 Australian university students selected for the internship from 85 applications nationwide.

Elizabeth Flora

Final year student Elizabeth Flora completed a two-month internship with the US Congress. Photo: Emma Henderson.

“I thought it would be a unique opportunity to see the behind the scenes of US politics and a chance to see first-hand how the US Government works in comparison to the Australian government,” Ms Flora, who has just returned from her internship, said.

The University of Canberra is one of 10 Australian universities to offer the internship, which was established in 1999 and aims to provide a personalised experienced for students in the House and Senate of the US Congress.

The 23-year-old worked in the office of California representative Congressman Sam Farr with four fellow interns. Ms Flora would arrive before most employees to help with preparations before the daily briefing.

“Every day was different. I would lead tours for constituents, cover briefings and help with office events and constituent letters. We were also encouraged to attend briefings and hearings that interested us,” she said.

Ms Flora said the experience was rewarding especially because of the opportunity of working with different people.

“It strengthened my self-confidence and gave me a higher appreciation for my country. One of the most important things I learnt is how valuable every single person is with their unique skills and knowledge,” she said.  

Applications for the 2014 internship are now open and Ms Flora is encouraging other students to apply.

“This internship is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, experience American culture and really get you behind the scenes of US politics,” she said.

For information on how to apply for the 2014 internship visit the Washington Internship Program webpage.