Beth Shaw (right) with Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Apply for a US political internship

01 November 2012

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2013 American Australian Association-ANU Congressional Internship and Research Fellowship program places Australian honours and postgraduate students in the offices of United States Senators who serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with an adjunct appointment to a relevant think tank.

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Applications are now open for the 2013 American Australian Association-ANU Congressional Internship and Research Fellowship, which places high-achieving honours and postgraduate students in the offices of United States Senators.

Applications for this highly competitive program close at 5pm on 18 November. The selection criteria and application forms are available on the program website. The internships run for three months beginning in January 2013. Financial and in-kind assistance is available to help interns with travel and accommodation expenses.

Beth Shaw completed her internship with Senator Richard Lugar from Indiana as part of the 2012 program.

“Interning for a US Senator on the Foreign Relations Committee, with an adjunct appointment to a relevant think-tank, provides an unrivalled opportunity to view the leading issues of the day from the US perspective. By understanding the nuances of the US approach, the internship ultimately fosters a deeper understanding between policy-makers in our two countries.

“The internship not only provides an opportunity to learn about US politics and the functions of a political office, it also provides the opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the public policy environment in Washington, DC, with its innumerable think-tanks, interest groups and world-class universities.”

Jonathan Cheng worked on foreign affairs, homeland security and armed services issues for Senator Robert Casey from Pennsylvania.

“As an intern, you get to understand the way an entire Senator’s staff functions – from administration to dealing with constituent affairs – and I’ll leave with a much better appreciation toward the way policy-makers and staff work in a very fast-paced environment. With such a broad mandate to ‘represent the people’ of a state, the Senator’s staff has to deal with a plethora of issues – often on the run.

“It’s definitely worthwhile for those wanting to get a better understanding of how policy is developed or politics is practiced in DC. In addition, Washington is never short of interesting events and seminars for a political junkie or international affairs specialist to attend. People you meet on the street or in cafes are often involved in the DC political scene either on the Hill or with think-tanks.” The Fellowship is supported by the American Australian Association. 

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