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In Washington, Summer Is the Season of the Interns

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

We continue with our discussion from last week about internships for students. As we said, interns are sometimes paid. Many times they are not, but they might receive college credit for their work. Sometimes they receive neither pay nor credit. But, as interns are always told, the experience can be valuable.

In the United States, many students get internships in Washington. These positions can be a chance to learn about government and business -- and a chance to meet influential people.

The Washington Post reports that twenty thousand college students arrive in the capital each summer. About four thousand of them work in Congress, in the offices of representatives and senators. Others work in government agencies or nonprofit organizations or business groups.

Internships in other cities offer a chance to see places like New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. But many students look for internships close to their hometowns or schools.

Wherever they are, interns can tell everyone about their experiences, good or bad, by writing about them on blogs. Sometimes interns write for a Web log on the Internet site of the place where they are doing their internship. This is how we found the blogs of two interns at Red Hat, a provider of Linux computer software. The company is based in North Carolina.

One of the interns, Claire Sauls, described organizing a summer computer camp for middle school students. The other, Matt Carpenter, wrote about working with different technical systems.

Not everyone has a great experience as an intern. But many say they gain skills and experience they could not get in a classroom. They get to meet others with similar interests. They might also get a better sense of what they like and dislike about different jobs. And they might even find that their internship helps them get a job in the future.

Finally, a programming note -- we will begin our Foreign Student series in September. These reports are for students who want information about how to attend a college or university in the United States. If you have any questions about the process, write to We can only accept general questions, and any questions we choose will be answered on our program.

And that’s the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. You can find our report from last week about internships at I’m Steve Ember.