Finding housing in the D.C. area for your internship
Put simply, housing in DC is expensive. It’s the worst intern budget-buster. Finding affordable, accessible and comfortable housing is difficult—even for full-time residents. You’ll want to aim for a rental that accepts short-term leases, is convenient to public transportation and in a reasonably safe neighborhood. Living in DC is slightly more expensive than the suburbs of Maryland or Virginia, but the cost of commuting—traffic, gas, parking, and/or rail and bus fares—rise dramatically the farther away from DC you get.
The first decision you must make is whether you’ll find your own place or join a summer housing program. Programs are convenient: they are tailored to intern needs and schedules, offer furnished accommodations and you’ll usually only sign one contract (as opposed to one each for a lease, phone, cable, electricity, gas). They are quite expensive (~$800-1100/month), however, and sometimes dictate inflexible start and end dates. In all likelihood, you’ll also be living in a dorm-style, double-occupancy room.
If you’re a good shopper, striking out on your own can be cheaper (~$500-$800/month) and more flexible. You’ll need a short-term lease and furnishings. There are plenty of people in DC looking for roommates or to sublet their own places; you can find many of them on the websites listed below, and you can find others through friends and acquaintances. However, it will take a lot of effort. If you’re going to go it alone, make sure you find someone who’s knowledgeable about the DC area to advise you (such as your supervisor). As with everything, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Make sure your new place is public transportation-accessible by visiting this page.
Area Universities that provide summer housing to DC Interns
- American University
- Catholic University of America
- Gallaudet University
- George Mason University
- George Washington University Summer Housing
- Georgetown University Summer Housing
- Georgetown University Law Center Summer Housing
- Howard University
- Trinity Washington University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of Maryland
Fully furnished short-term housing
On your own…
- Craig’s List
- Washington City Paper
- My Cheap Apartments
- The Hill classifieds
- Washington Post
This is another free resource that can be found outside most Metro stops as well as online.
Apartment Shoppers Guide
This is a free resource that can be found at any CVS. Listings are for large apartment complexes.
Georgetown University’s Off-Campus Housing Resource Services
Georgetown has a comprehensive off-campus living guide that has a lot of helpful information.
Sponsored Washington Semester-type Programs
Institute for Experiential Learning (IEL), The Capital Experience: An educational nonprofit organization that provides internships and educational programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Students work at the internship site 4 days per week. Students also take the Experiential Education Seminar and one elective course.
The Washington Center: Nonprofit education association which provides comprehensive learning opportunities in DC for students from colleges and universities throughout the country. The Center offers full time academic internships for both semester (15 weeks) and quarter (10 week) students. Full time interns work 4.5 days per week and attend class one half day every week.