Class of 2012
What the Program Involves:
The Program is divided into three distinct phases: pre-departure and preparation phase, placement phase, and return and re-entry phase. Following the official end of the Program, students are encouraged to take an active role in the 400+ strong alumni which provides a wide network of like-minded individuals and peers, and continue their public service and leadership work.
Phase One: Pre-departure:
Following a competitive recruitment process, participants receive training and support to help them make the most of their placement in DC. This includes a pre-departure orientation weekend, and will provide a valuable chance to get to know the other members of the WIP Class of 2012. Students are encouraged to reflect on their current understanding and assumptions, and track their learning and progress throughout their placement.
All students are required to commit to a minimum of 30 hours of public service before their placement in DC, and are encouraged to take on a new community service project. Past students have worked in local schools, homeless shelters, taken on mentoring roles or have volunteered in other community outreach projects.
Students are also expected to complete a number of short research projects in advance of their DC program, to ensure that they are ready to take on their new role and to fully contribute to the WIP Class.
Phase Two: Washington DC
The DC phase is the central component of the Washington Ireland Program. Students complete an extensive leadership curriculum with their peers – developing their leadership skills and learning from the leadership experiences of those in Global leadership positions. Students also complete an individual internship. These vary greatly and are matched as best as possible to the student’s skills and interests.
While in DC, students live with WIP’s special community of Host Families. Our Host Families have opened their homes to WIP students for the past decade and are a key part of the WIP experience.
Students also work closely with the students of our sister leadership development project, the South African Washington Internship Program (SAWIP).
All participants are expected to work hard, act responsibly, challenge themselves and absorb as much of the experience as possible. In return, the placement offers hands-on learning, insights, and possibilities.
Phase Three: Re-entry
On returning home, students take part in a re-entry program that allows the Class to reflect on their experiences and identify how they are going to use their new skills and network to address the challenges in their society or an issue they are passionate about.
Students are also welcomed in to participate in WIP’s Alumni network and offered opportunities to continue their leadership development and community service.