Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of participating in the DC Placement Program?

If selected as a participant you will:

  • Gain invaluable international experience
  • Learn about the intricacies of American business, culture and politics
  • Network with business leaders, government officials and students from all over the world
  • Receive credit towards your degree at Sydney or UWA
  • Complement your studies through a professional placement in a top organisation 

Who organises the program?

The DC Placement Program is run by the United States Studies Centre and is made available to University of Sydney students through the Business School, The Faculty of Arts and Social Science and University of Western Australia students through the Perth USAsia Centre and UWA Faculty.

Do I get to pick my units of study?

You are required to do the BUSS2500 Washington DC Placement Program unit or USSC2605. You will be asked to rank the available evening seminars and electives offered by UCDC in order of preference and will be placed into two units according to UCDC processes. Please note you will likely not receive your top two choices due to high demand. (Check the units of study page for units on offer)

How much credit will I receive towards my degree?

Upon successful completion of all three units of study, you will receive up to 18 credit points towards your degree at USYD or UWA depending on your degree progression and credit approvals.

How long is the placement?

The placement will occur over a period of nine weeks. You will work four days a week, Monday to Thursday. Hours per week will be determined by the host organisation and will be agreed to prior to commencement of the placement.

How is my placement organised?

As fair as possible, students will be allocated to a placement according to their educational background and interests. However, this is dependent on availability and it is not possible to guarantee that an intern's role will be directly related to their particular area of study.

What kind of organisation will I be working for?

Placements are available in a wide variety of organisations including business, government, think tanks etc.

What do I do during my placement?

Tasks will be agreed to at the outset of the placement and will vary between organisations.

Will I be assigned tasks or to a department specifically related to my degree?

Potentially, however the placement should be considered as an opportunity to expand your knowledge and learn new skills.

Do I get paid for my placement?

No, all placements are unpaid, as you earn credit points towards your degree.

Can I receive academic credit for my placement?

Yes. The placement is a significant component of the compulsory unit of study BUSS2500 or USSC2605, which upon successful completion will be credited towards your degree.

What should I do to prepare for the placement?

Attend the compulsory pre-departure sessions. Students should also undertake independent research about American culture, traditions and customs, local weather and conversion rates. Upon being notified of your placement, you should conduct research about the organisation.

What should I do if I encounter problems during my placement?

You should consult the staff on the program, whose contact details will be available from the outset of the program.

Eligibility

I am not a student at the University of Western Australia or the University of Sydney Business School or Arts Faculty. Am I still eligible to apply for the Placement Program?

No. The DC Placement Program is exclusively offered to students completing an undergraduate degree (including combined degrees) at the University of Western Australia or the University of Sydney Business School or Arts Faculty.

What are the selection criteria?

See the who should apply section.

Can the units of study be credited towards my major?

No. Units of study can only be credited towards the elective component of your degree. If you've already completed all of your elective units, you may still able to complete the program and have the credit you receive count as additional electives towards your degree.

I am an international student. Am I still eligible to apply?

International students are eligible to apply. You should refer to the U.S. Embassy for further information about visa eligibility.

Application process

How do I apply?

To apply follow the steps listed in the how to apply section. Applications will only be received via the online form. Applications close 20 August 2017 at midnight (FASS students only). No late submissions will be accepted.

What documents do I need to prepare to apply?

Details of supporting documents can be found in the how to apply section.

What is an academic reference?

Your academic referee should be a lecturer, tutor etc. who has taught you in the last two years. They should be able to refer to your capacity to meet assignment deadlines, the quality of work submitted, your level of participation in class discussions, how you work with others and on your own, and your motivation and self-discipline.

What is a non-academic reference?

Your non-academic referee should be someone who knows you and your character well (often also called a 'character reference'). It should not be written by a family member. The reference should refer to how long the person has known you and in what capacity. They may wish to refer to your potential, skills, abilities and strengths and accomplishments, but most importantly they should refer to your character, reliability and level of commitment.

When is the deadline for all applications?

The application deadline is by midnight in your respective time zone on 20 August 2017 (FASS students only). Applicants are strongly urged to submit applications without delay to avoid disappointment.

When will I be notified if my application is successful?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 8 September 2017.

Accommodation

Is accommodation provided for the entire duration of the program?

Yes. Student accommodation will be arranged by the United States Studies Centre. Students are not permitted to stay with family or friends or to otherwise arrange their own accommodation under any circumstances.

Fees and scholarships

What is the closing date for the payment of fees?

Full fee payment is due by close of business on 10 November 2017.

What do the fees cover?

The program fees cover the costs for both units of study undertaken at UCDC, accommodation, health insurance, administration, some extra-curricular activities, and use of facilities. Students are also liable for additional costs including: visas, return airfares and airport transfers, food and entertainment and any other associated costs.

How do I pay my program fees?

Payments can be made by via the University of Sydney online payment system. Details will be provided to all students accepted into the program.

Can I cancel my application?

Yes you can. Please refer to the program conditions for further details.

How do I cancel my application?

Applications to withdraw from the DC Placement Program must be received in writing and lodged with the United States Studies Centre. Please refer to the program conditions for further details.

Will I get a refund of all of my tuition fees?

Please refer to the program conditions for further details.

Do I need to submit a separate application to be considered for a scholarship?

A separate application is not required. Students should complete the field on the application entry form relating specifically to scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on merit, personal qualities (as demonstrated in their application) and financial need.

Will any full scholarships be offered?

Only some partial scholarships will be offered. Before applying to the program, students should ensure that they have the financial means to support themselves for the duration of the program.

When will I be notified if I was successful in acquiring a scholarship?

Successful applicants will be notified as soon as the scholarships package is finalised.