No city features a more diverse convergence of richly beneficial internship and service opportunities than Washington, DC. Our graduate students discover many perks while living and studying in the District. So we asked for their thoughts, and they answered. Here are the five most exciting advantages of studying health in DC:
1. Social Justice Opportunities
Social justice means different things to different types of people. Luckily, DC has something for just about everyone. A large amount of nationally known nonprofits are headquartered here, covering just about every issue imaginable.
Naturally, many health promotion management students interpret social justice through the lens of widening opportunities for people to improve their health and well-being. You can easily find dozens of DC-based, health-related nonprofits to volunteer or intern at, including:
2. Access to Federal Agencies and Lawmakers
American University students are in close proximity to the lawmakers who shape many critical policies, as well as the national budget. You’ll attend public meetings that provide more than a glimpse into how nation-changing decisions originate and come to fruition.
Federal agencies provide a wealth of potential, too. Enterprising students—often with help from professors and alumni—can seek internships, research materials, informational interviews, and more from impactful agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
3. International Experiences
Washington, DC, also functions as a de facto gateway into international opportunities. This area is a hotbed for internationally focused groups such as the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
With so many US and international organizations based nearby, AU students with worldwide goals can work to make connections and develop relationships that will help them secure internships or full-time positions overseas after graduation.
4. Vibrant ‘Classroom’ Experiences
In many situations, it’s the university itself that connects health promotion graduate students with unique opportunities in Washington, DC. Health-related advocacy exercises on Capitol Hill. On-campus lectures from global leaders. Off-campus tours of significant organizations. Our students’ experiences go far beyond the pages of a textbook and the edges of a whiteboard.
“Studying in DC gives me access to amazing professionals and staff, internships, volunteering, and networking events,” said Andrea Battaglia, who is working toward a health promotion management master’s degree from AU. “The success that lies within the city is both empowering and motivational.”
5. Clean Living
Beyond the numerous opportunities for innovative learning and career preparation, DC is a great place for health-minded individuals to live, study, work, and play. Andrea said she enjoys how clean the city is, with great weather that draws adventurous, outdoorsy people to the area.
“I love being able to walk around different parts of DC, whether it’s a farmers market or the waterfront, with thousands of people buzzing on the sidewalks,” Battaglia said.
The benefits of studying health in Washington, DC, extend from the classroom to local businesses and agencies to the community’s parks and walkways. It’s a comprehensive experience that serves as a wonderful base for a career spent promoting health and well-being.