George Washington University’s Semester in Washington Journalism (SIWJ) program is a study abroad opportunity that emerses journalism students in internships, learning opportunities and classroom activities in the nation’s capital, with a focus on cross-media practice.
Update: SIWJ is now an independent institution under the name Washington Media Institute.
When students complete the SIWJ program, the aspects of the program they most value are very different from the aspects that bring them to the program in the first place. Initially, students are drawn by the opportunity to live in D.C. and intern at big, Washington news organizations. But by the end of the program, they are most struck by their personal growth and shifts in their journalistic interests.
The site aimed to present representative experiences of this process: exploring various journalistic methods, experiencing the unique world of Washington, learning from doing. The format was intended to feel both unique and familiar, and allows for graceful interplay with offsite social media participation. We sought to make the structure of the website embody the core values of the program.