International Externships

Students are responsible for finding and applying to their internship that they can then convert to an externship. The Externship Program does provide a list of international placements that have hired students in the past or have indicated an interest in hiring WCL students. International externship and internship opportunities are posted on the OCPD Careerlink Symplicity Database. We also provide a detailed list of international externships and internships through the Global Opportunities Listserv. Some of the placements require that students apply through the Externship Program and others allow students to apply directly. Students are always free to seek internships or externships on their own but if they wish to receive externship credit, then they must meet the requirements.

The Washington College of Law's International Externship Program offers students a unique opportunity in American legal education. Students can earn academic credit while performing fieldwork outside of the United States in NGOs, government agencies, tribunals, and law firms engaged in pro bono work. Students participating in the International Program gather at WCL in mid May for a three-to-four day intensive seminar, which prepares them for their fieldwork. At the conclusion of the seminar, students disperse to their externship sites where they normally work fulltime for 7-10 weeks. During the field placement portion of the program, students and WCL faculty are linked via an Internet "virtual classroom" for continuing discussions of the students' experiences. When the field placement concludes, students reconvene at WCL in mid August for another three-to-four day seminar to further reflect on their externship experiences. Attendance at the mid-May and mid-August seminars is MANDATORY. The Summer 2016 International Long Distance Externship Seminars will meet May 16-18th and August 15-17th. Attendance is mandatory. These seminars meet at WCL. All international travel for academic credit must be approved by the University.

The mandatory Externship Seminar is three credits; in addition students earn 1, 2 or 3 credits for their field placements, depending on the number of hours worked. Students cannot participate in a Study Abroad program and earn externship credit as students may only earn a total of seven credits over the summer semester.

Approval Process

All foreign travel related to an externship must be approved by the following:

  • Externship Program
  • Washington College of Law Office of the Dean
  • American University Office of the Provost

Once you have accepted an offer for an international placement please fill out the forms below and return them to the Externship Office. If approved by the Externship Office, your forms, along with a program description and a copy of the country's risk assessment, will be submitted for approval to the Office of the Dean, and to the Office of the Provost. You will not be permitted to receive academic credit for an international externship unless you have received approval for international travel from the University. All externships must be approved by the University and the law school. Placements deemed unsafe will not be permitted.

Approval Forms

If the travel is approved, information will be forwarded to AU's Vice President for insurance coverage.


The Externship Long Distance International seminar is three credits and the fieldwork varies from one to three depending on the hours the student works. Tuition for the summer is a per-credit cost. Students must enroll in at least 6 credits for the summer to be eligible for financial aid.  Please click here to view how you can save money by taking an externship.


Full-time/ part-time J.D. candidates who have completed their first year of law school can participate in an international externship. Please note that every employer will list their own eligibility criteria which should not be taken lightly.

Housing & Travel

Students are responsible for their own housing and travel arrangements although some externship employers in foreign countries provide housing or assistance in locating housing.


It is the student’s responsibility to get a visa and the process has tightened considerably, which is why we recommend students to start the process early and plan ahead.

Travel Health Insurance

Upon approval, the University will provide travel health insurance. For more information on the travel insurance coverage provided, please visit