College Intern Program
For four decades, the American Hellenic Institute has welcomed over 200 interns to its Hellenic House and helped them enrich their knowledge, affirm their career aspirations and helped them build strong relationships with professionals. Today, AHI interns work at our historic building on 16th Street, N.W., just five blocks from the White House and experience first-hand the excitement and practical understanding of how foreign policy is formulated in our nation’s capital.
About the AHI Internship Program:
AHI offers several internship positions throughout the year. The internship is an excellent opportunity for those interested in gaining experience in government affairs andforeign policy issues, specifically U.S. relations with Greece and Cyprus. It is designed for undergraduate and graduate students and helps to explore new career avenues and jump-start career in politics, journalism, lobbying, government, or the nonprofit sector.
Interns work directly with staff members on various activities, including performing research and analysis; drafting letters and memoranda, and assisting staff with other project-oriented tasks. They also attend lectures held at think tanks, monitor legislation and congressional hearings on Capitol Hill, draft press releases and assist with general administrative duties.
The duration of the internship varies from one to several months depending on each student's schedule. During the academic year, they are expected to work a minimum of 15 hours per week. During the summer term, preference will be given to interns who are available to work full-time. The internship is unsalaried. Foreign students are eligible to apply as long as they have a current student visa and/or work permit. Additionally, housing is not provided and interns are responsible for making their own housing arrangements.
Who are our interns?
AHI interns are community leaders and campus activists eager to experience first-hand how foreign policy is developed in this country. They come from all corners of the United States, and countries including Greece, Cyprus, France and England. Students have come from Harvard, Yale, Tufts, Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University, Columbia University, New York University, UCLA, and UC Berkeley, etc. Some have found jobs here in the DC area while others returned to their hometowns. They tell us that their internships enhanced their learning on how US foreign policy is formulated in Congress and the Executive Branch, boosted their confidence, and made them more competitive in the job market.
In their own words…
I interned at the American Hellenic Institute during the summer of 2007 while an undergraduate at George Washington University in D.C. My work largely involved researching Greek-American affairs and attended various conferences, forums, and lectures in Washington, preparing summaries of these events for AHI publications. My internship at AHI proved to be an invaluable experience. AHI's tireless efforts to keep the Cyprus question at the forefront of the United States’ policy agenda is critical. My internship with AHI also led me to participate on AHI's College Student Foreign Policy Trip to Greece and Cyprus in June 2011. This trip, which included an excursion into the occupied territories of northern Cyprus, allowed me to witness firsthand the issues that I had been researching, writing about, and advocating for in Washington years earlier. — Alex LaBua, graduate student at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, concentration on Energy Policy.
The AHI internship program allows students to focus on important issues to the Greek American community, including the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and other developments in Greek and Cypriot relations. I enjoyed meeting other like-minded students who were from other parts of the U.S. and other countries and attending various events on Capitol Hill, the Brookings Institution, and other locations. — Constance Baroudos, Program Director, Lexington Institute
I joined the AHI team in 2011 after finishing my Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in the UK. As an intern, I had the opportunity to follow a series of events in a number of think tanks in Washington, DC, to contribute to AHI’s publications with reports and short articles and to engage in research into the modern history of Cyprus. Through this work, I gained a better understanding of the international relations between the U.S. and Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and first-hand experience of the making of US foreign policy. I also had a chance to learn about careers in think tanks, lobby organizations and the world of foreign affairs more broadly. Spending a number of months in Washington, DC gave me an insight into the Greek American community and its efforts to promote the interests of Greece and Cyprus in the United States. My time at AHI played an important role in my decision to pursue a PhD in history at the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London. – Loizos Kapsalis, Research Student, PhD Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London.
Earning College Credit / Independent study
Students are required to meet with their academic advisor or faculty supervisor to confirm the eligibility of the AHI Internship Program to receive credit, complete the internship registration forms, and obtain necessary approvals. Interns are supervised by the AHI staff and follow the guidelines from each university or organization. Students are required to complete their assignments prior to the conclusion of their internship. Hours vary and are flexible; however, a minimum of 15 hours per week s generally expected.
Candidates for AHI should be able to work a minimum of 15 hours per week during the academic year and 35 hours per week during the summer. All foreign students must have a current student visa and/or current work permit. Once we have received your cover letter, resume, writing sample, transcripts and two letters of recommendation, we will contact the applicants to participate in a phone interview.
To be eligible, interns must be currently enrolled in a college or university or have graduated within 12 months from the beginning of the internship. Interns may receive academic credit for their internship if approved and arranged by their educational institution. Typically, our interns are:
- Highly motivated, responsible individual with strong research, writing and computer skills and excellent oral communication skills.
- Educational concentration in U.S. relations with Greece and Cyprus.
- Ability to handle several tasks at once while working independently or as a team member.
Students apply to the program from universities across the United States; therefore, the program schedule is flexible to accommodate participants and range from 15-40 hours per week. The approximate timeline to apply is as follows:
Fall (September – December): September 15
Spring (January– May): December 15
Summer (May – August): April 15
While we aim to adhere to the above dates, they may vary slightly from year to year. AHI may be able to accommodate other schedules on a case-by-case basis. Interested applicants from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. However, preference will be given to those applicants with superior writing, organization and word-processing skills, and knowledge or coursework on US relations with Greece and Cyprus. Housing arrangements are not provided for interns. It is the intern's responsibility to find his/her own housing.
If you have any questions about the application process or the internship, please direct your queries to Yola Pakhchanian at [email protected]
Please provide the following:
- cover letter;
- a completed, signed and dated internship application form; (contact Yola Pakhchanian at [email protected] to request a copy of the application form);
- official or non-official transcripts;
- two letters of recommendation from college professors or employers; and
- a three-page writing sample; (i.e., school paper that demonstrates your writing skills, articles written in student newspapers or local newspaper).
Submitting the application:
Please send an e-mail to Yola Pakhchanian at [email protected] with the subject line AHI INTERN APPLICANT: [Your Name]. In a single e-mail, please attach your documents as a Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files. The letters or recommendation and transcripts can be emailed directly with the subject line AHI INTERN APPLICANT [Your Name].