Watch our video from the 2018 trip
Westminster alumni, along with academics and the Smithsonian Institution, have teamed up to offer students a unique opportunity to experience the professional environment, history and culture of Washington DC.
Washington DC is the political hub of the US, but also features the world’s largest museum and research complex, the Smithsonian Institution.
Westminster Working Cultures (WWC) is part of the Westminster Employability Award. As an optional activity, you can gain 10 points upon successful completion of participation in the WWC programme.
About the programme
Dates and duration
Sunday 8 September – Sunday 15 September 2019, 8 days (inclusive of travel).
Please note: you must be available for the whole period of time and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip end date.
This trip has been generously funded by the Quintin Hogg Trust. This means most of your trip costs will be funded, including flights and accommodation.
Students who are selected for the programme will be asked to contribute a £100 contribution towards the trip, pay for your own transport costs to and from the selected London airport, a visa if you require one and costs associated with free time (i.e. food and entrance fees).
During the trip
The purpose of the trip is to enhance your employability and develop skills that will help you after graduation. You’ll visit a number of leading and diverse organisations and museums in Washington DC and have a chance to reflect on your experience. A full itinerary and list of organisations and museums you’ll visit will be provided closer to the trip. Please be prepared to research them in advance so you can make the most of your time.
Please note: students will have to do a lot of walking and use public transportation around Washington DC. To ensure students make the most during their time during the trip, the itinerary will include multiple visits and talks a day and may be quite intense.
The University has a number of links with museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution. Visits may be made to the following:
- Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The Smithsonian's Lemelson Center explores the role of invention and innovation in the United States, particularly its historical context and how that history relates to current events
- National Museum of Air and Space
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
Additional sessions are being organised and may include:
- seminars and workshops
- workplace tours
- Q&A sessions with University of Westminster alumni
You will also have time to enhance your understanding and cultural knowledge of Washington DC.
Please note: this list is subject to change.
Flights and Accommodation
Flights have been booked to and from Heathrow with British Airways.
Accommodation will be in university-standard halls of residence or similar. Details will be confirmed prior to departure.
Please note: you will be sharing a twin room with another student of the same sex.
The visit will be led by members of the Alumni Office, and a senior member of academic staff. The visit will be subject to normal University risk assessments and regulations.
There will be a number of informal alumni events which you will be required to attend as representatives of the University.
You must be enrolled as a full-time, undergraduate student at the time of this trip.
Agree to the ‘Expectations of trip participants’:
- Be on time and participate in all activities and meetings
- Submit photos, videos or write a blog post about your experience
- Reflect on your experience through the Westminster Working Cultures workbook
- Participate in a project specific to the trip destination
- Be aware that things may change during your time abroad, have an open mind and be flexible!
Students are required to maintain the highest standards of behaviour while abroad on a University of Westminster programme. Students overseas remain bound by the University of Westminster’s 'Student Code of Conduct'.
How to join the programme
In order to be selected you will need to:
- Complete an online application form – the application link will be live from Monday 8 April 2019
- Agree to the participant expectations
- Be available to travel from 8 – 15 September 2019
Applications will remain open until 11:59pm on Monday 6 May 2019 and applicants will be notified either way of the outcome as soon as possible after the application period closes.
A selection panel will shortlist the participants against criteria which includes:
- Academic performance
- Quality of your response to the motivation questions for taking part in the programme
- Previous Outward Mobility experience with the University
Please note: priority may be given to final year students who have not previously travelled abroad as part of their course or with the University. However, we strongly encourage applications from students on all courses and years within the undergraduate programme.
Tips for writing a good application
Stand out from the crowd!
- Prepare your answers in advance of making the application, ask someone to proofread for grammar and spelling.
- Use the word limit for each question to fully explain and showcase your interest in the opportunity. If you only write a sentence or two for the core motivation questions, you will probably not be selected for this opportunity.
- Clearly demonstrate your motivations with particular reference to academic, professional or personal development. We want to know why YOU want to take part in this opportunity.
The University of Westminster takes the safety of our students very seriously. This employability programme will be supported in-country by a minimum of two Westminster staff members and all students will be covered by the University of Westminster travel insurance (free of charge to students).
All students selected to participate in the programme will be required to attend the pre-departure briefing sessions which will take place before the trip in June and late August.
You can email [email protected] with any queries.
For further advice on security and visiting the USA, please see the Foreign Travel Advice – USA on the government’s website.
Watch this video about the experience of one student on the Washington DC trip: