Washington DC is the political hub of the US, but also features the world’s largest museum and research complex, the Smithsonian Institution.

Along with academics and the Smithsonian Institution, Westminster alumni have teamed up to offer students a unique opportunity to experience the professional environment, history and culture of Washington DC.

Watch our video from the 2018 trip: 

About the programme

Dates and duration

Sunday 9 September – Monday 17 September 2018, 9 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.

Two orientation and preparation sessions will be held in advance of the trip, to assist you with your planning and preparation.

You will also be invited to an event on Monday 9 July from 6.30-8pm at Regent Street, giving you a chance to meet students who will be travelling on the trip as well as learn about the University's collaborations in Washington DC.


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 non-refundable deposit, 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 (ie 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.

The University has a number of links with museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution. Visits will 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

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.


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.

In-country support

The visit will be led by senior 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
  • Complete the Westminster Working Cultures workbook about your time on the trip
  • 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!

How to join the programme

In order to be selected you will need to:

  • Complete an online application form
  • Agree to the participant expectations
  • Be available to travel from 9 – 17 September 2018

A selection panel will shortlist the participants against criteria which includes:

  • Academic performance
  • Motivation for taking part in the programme
  • Quality of response to the application questions
  • 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.

Applications have now closed. 

Further details

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 must take Westminster’s travel insurance. 

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 late June/Early July and late August and the event on Monday 9 July. 

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.

Student experience

Watch this video about the experience of one student on the Washington DC trip:


Photos from previous trip to Washington DC