"The Washington Term program allows students to observe politics firsthand and then reflect upon differences between theory and practice. I had the opportunity to see politics shape public policy, a phenomenon that cannot be studied in Lexington. Decisions made in Washington affect many aspects of life in the United States, and Washington Term helped me to practically understand how politics affects my future career as a physician as my experience emphasized important health policy questions."
--Jonathan Wortham, '04
"As a Biology/premed major, Washington Term gave me the prime opportunity to both explore my interest in public health care policy and to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of American politics and government. The first-hand experience in American government supplemented by the classwork with Professor Connelly was an enriching and stimulating experience. My internship with the Senate's only physician, Senator Frist, allowed me to participate in the formation of the nation's healthcare policy. I recommend Washington Term to student's of all majors who have a passion for learning and to a desire to grow both as a student and as an American citizen."
--Ruth Hill Yeilding, '03
"I had the good fortune to participate in Washington Term twice, learning about the government firsthand from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. The program successfully bridges the gap between the academic lessons learned in the ivy-covered walls of the Williams School and the real politick in the marble corridors of power.
While many students choose to intern in DC during their time in college, few could have as valuable an experience as those in the Washington Term program, which mixes an extensive internship with practical and intellectual readings and discussions. Even the weekly required journal writing, makes participates think about their work in broader terms, drawing academic and personal lessons that stay with you long after spring term has ended.
Regardless of whether you already have Potomac Fever, or never again plan to return to DC, the Washington Term is an insightful and rewarding experience that I would heartily recommend."
--Sam Langholz, '02
"In politics classes, students hear of the contrast between theory and practice, but Washington Term provides a great environment to learn this distinction firsthand and view the political world from the other end of the spectrum. The coursework was carefully tailored to supplement and enhance our internship experiences. I frequently discussed our readings with staffers who remarked at the pertinence of the course material. The term-end research paper provided the perfect opportunity for me to interview Members of Congress, high-level staff members, and take advantage of the vast array of resources that cannot be found in Lexington."
-- Heather Howard, '02
"Washington Term is a rigorous, challenging program that provided me with worthwhile insight into the inner workings of Washington, D.C. As a result of my first-hand experiences and observations, I reaped valuable benefits impossible to accrue in a classroom setting. This program ultimately gave me an indispensable opportunity to witness how Washington functions, helping me bridge the gap between what I learned in the classroom and what occurs in the real world. I whole-heartedly recommend this program to anyone interested in working in the nation's capital."
-- Kristi Slafka, '00
"I found the academic course component of Washington Term to be directly applicable to my internship with Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett. The readings, seminars, and discussions provided deeper insight into the world of politics, and my supervisor was impressed by the amount of work our class did in and out of the office to prepare for our internships."
-- Jennifer Fern, '96
"The Washington Term Program proved to be the most rewarding and exciting experience I have had at Washington and Lee University. Working on Capitol Hill is the best way to study and understand our nation's political system. The unique six-week period during the Spring enabled me to obtain responsibilities that provided incredible political insight and led to long lasting connections."
-- Bob Ross, '96
"The value of my six week experience in Washington seemed apparent to me from the moment I set foot on Capitol Hill: I viewed every activity, from congressional hearings to Metro commutes to participant observation in my office, as an opportunity to see politics at work- and I was not disappointed. Washington Term is still paying dividends that standard academic courses rarely offer. There is simply no substitute for a hands-on internship, brought into focus by weekly seminars and guest lectures, for testing your ideas about government."
-- Beth Wiley, '95
"This program is a real asset to W&L's Politics Department. The combination of the practical and the theoretical, the hands-on experience along with the academic course and seminar series proved to be an ideal learning experience. I hope to return to Washington, D.C., after I graduate."
-- Paul LaGarde, '91
"As an intern for Senator Daniel Inouye, I was virtually set free to roam the Capitol. I saw sights regular visitors see, such as congressional hearings with members of the President's Cabinet and the offices of individual congressmen. And then, I saw, and participated in much more, and from a point of view few Americans see. I sat in on meetings behind the scenes where staffers from opposing camps hammered out agreements, wrote letters, and helped research the senator's next move. This, backed with the class meetings in D.C., put W&L interns a step above the rest. With all this in mind, I wholeheartedly recommend the Washington Term Program."
-- Patricia Lopes, '91
"The Washington Term Program provides an opportunity to learn first hand about the operations of government from the White House to Capitol Hill. But what this course offers, which no textbook truly can, is insight into the spirit, energy, and excitement present in the Nation's Capital. If someone asked me if I'd do it again, the answer is yes, in a heartbeat."
-- Chris Wood, '90