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Frequently Asked Questions
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Please read below for Frequently Asked Questions: 


Q: Are graduate students eligible? 
A: Graduate students are NOT eligible.

Q: Do you have to be a U.S. Citizen to be eligible?
A: U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and individuals with a valid work visa or work permit, including those issued under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; I601 Provisional Waivers are NOT accepted at this time.  

Q: Are international students eligible?
A: International students are NOT eligible. 

Q: I am currently a high school senior and will start college in the fall. Am I eligible for the summer internship program?
A: High school seniors who have not started college yet are NOT eligible.

Q: Are students who attend community colleges eligible for the internship?

A: Yes.

Q: I graduate from an undergraduate program in May, am I eligible?
A: YES, undergraduate seniors graduating in May ARE eligible and may apply.  In fact we encourage graduating seniors to apply for our Summer and Fall Internship programs because of the unique networking opportunities and work experiences available through OCA.

Q: I am a recent graduate, am I eligible?
A: Recent graduates ARE eligible for up to a year of the graduation date. 

Q: I don't live in Washington, D.C.  Am I eligible for the internship?
A: YES, however all accepted students must move to Washington, D.C. or be in commuting distance for the program term as they will be placed in an organization or department located in the city.  Our interns often cite living in a new city as one of their favorite parts of the internship!

Q: Does OCA provide housing for interns?
A: OCA will only provide a housing guide for accepted interns (see Program Overview for more information). Finding housing is on the student’s own terms.  Interns should find housing early to ensure guaranteed housing upon arrival.  We encourage students to find housing together, as this is often also a memorable part of the internship experience.  

Q: How much would housing costs and other expenses total up to living in Washington, D.C.?
A: Housing per month will generally averaged about $600 depending on where the student chooses to live and how many people are splitting the rent. With additional living expenses, weekend excursions, shopping, and eating out, interns should look into investing anywhere from $2,000 - $4,000 for the entirety of the internship program. 

Q: What kinds of experience will I gain through this program?
A: Placements are in both the public and private sector.  The public sector includes federal agencies, Congressional offices as well as various national non-profit organizations.  Interns should expect to experience working full-time in very professional settings.  Generally work hours are from 9a.m. to 6p.m. but may vary depending on the organization.  Interns are also given the opportunity to attend many API networking events and panel discussions. 

Q: Can I have my references send in my letters of recommendations separately instead of including them in my application packet?
We prefer for you to submit all of your application materials in one package, however, you can have your letters of recommendation sent in separately. They should be mailed to the OCA office at 1322 18th St NW, Washington, DC, 20036 postmarked by the deadline.

Q: What do the interns typically do for fun outside of work?
A: Washington, D.C. has a lot of interesting restaurants and venues to check out.  The National Mall and numerous Smithsonian Museums are a good place to visit on the weekends.  Interns have also explored  Georgetown, Virginia, and Maryland and taken weekend trips to Philadelphia and New York.  Washington, D.C. also has a lot of farmers markets, fitness studios, and neighborhoods that are worth checking out.  The annual OCA National Convention is also a fun team experience.

Q: What is the weather like in D.C.?
A: During the summertime it is typically hot and humid with afternoon showers on occasion.  The temperature generally falls in the 80s - 90s.  We recommend bringing a small umbrella and sunglasses.  During the fall, temperatures cool down to highs in the 70s - 80s.   

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1322 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
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