January 23, 2018

Summer Diplomatic Academy



A Practical Training Program for Students and Early-Career Professionals

Full-time program: July 16–27, 2018

Part-time program: June 26–August 2, 2018

Washington, DC



Our summer academy is a unique practical training program that helps prepare undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates and early-career professionals for careers in international diplomacy. It introduces them to the fundamentals of diplomatic practice and focuses on real-life aspects of work in national and local governments, embassies and consulates, international organizations and multinational businesses. The material emphasizes a skills-based and experiential-learning approach, and is generally not offered at colleges and universities. The program also includes one-on-one and group career-counseling sessions. Participants receive certificates from the Academy.

Some of the most respected diplomats in recent years join other officials and experts to provide objective, non-partisan insight into policy-making and implementation, diplomatic protocol, the functions and management of embassies and consulates, public diplomacy and intercultural communication, immunities and other aspects of living abroad, and many other issues. The full-time program offers classes every weekday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.), as well as weekend activities. The part-time program’s sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays (6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m.-4 p.m.).


Classes & Activities

The agenda below is subject to change as needed.


The world order and the nation-state system

The role of diplomacy in international relations and geopolitics

Overview of diplomatic history

Prominent case studies of diplomatic successes and failures


The national interest and global considerations

The foreign-policy toolbox

Challenges to the international system

Diplomatic immunities and the Vienna Convention


The fundamentals of U.S. diplomacy

The history of America’s global leadership

Current challenges to the U.S. Foreign Service

Visit to the State Department


The interagency foreign-policy process

Insights into policy-making and implementation

The coordinating role of the National Security Council

The civil service and political appointees


Behind the scenes of embassy work

Consular affairs

Diplomatic protocol and entertaining

Visit to a foreign embassy


Visit to a foreign ambassador’s residence


Group career-counseling session


Political tradecraft

Economic tradecraft

Diplomatic reporting and writing

Diplomatic analysis and policy recommendations


Diplomatic influence and persuasion

Negotiation and conflict-resolution

Multilateral diplomacy and international organizations

Visit to an international organization

DAY 10

Commercial and business diplomacy

Energy and environmental diplomacy

The legislative branch’s role in diplomacy

Visit to Capitol Hill

DAY 11

The diplomacy-defense-intelligence nexus

Negotiation exercise, Part 1

The role of NGOs and think tanks in diplomacy

Visit to an NGO/think tank

DAY 12

Public diplomacy and media relations

Intercultural communication

Negotiation exercise, Part 2

Conclusion and presenting of certificates


Application Process


Undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates and early-career professionals are eligible to apply to the Summer Diplomatic Academy. Previous coursework in political science, international relations or related fields is highly desirable, but not required.

Applications must include a completed application form and a CV or résumé. A cover letter, explaining how the academy will help you achieve your career goals (up to 500 words), is strongly encouraged but not required.

Both U.S. and foreign citizens may apply. Fluency in English is required. We are not able to sponsor U.S. entry visas for international participants who are not already in the United States, and such applicants will be responsible for obtaining their own visas on the basis of our admission letter. Applicants from visa-waiver countries do not need a student visa to enroll in a short-term professional training program — they need an electronic visa (ESTA).

Applications for the 2018 program are now closed. Please check back for details about the 2019 program.


Tuition & Other Fees


If you are accepted, you can pay tuition only and arrange your own accommodation in Washington, or select one of our packages that include accommodation.


Getting In Touch

If you have questions about the Summer Diplomatic Academy, send us a message using the form below or call us on 202-656-9828.