What to Bring


Your Guide to What to Bring, Wear and Do in DC

Here’s what to bring, the intern dress code, how to get here, get around DC and what to see. This guide will walk you through all you can expect and what you should prepare for. You’ll arrive in Washington ready to be one of the most prestigious interns in the world and make the most of your semester in our Capitol. Welcome to DC!

Have a question? Contact us!

Let’s Be Friends

Stay in touch as you count down to your internship – we’re here to make sure you are settled and feel at home. Here’s how to find us:

Our office is right near Union Station, close to the Capitol. You’ll check in here. Most of our properties are just a few blocks from this location.

237 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Have a question? Call Lauren at 202-548-2720

Travel delays? Let us know – call us to help with late check-in arrangements.

Make sure you have the address of your residence in case you move in while we’re closed.

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The Top 10 sights interns rave about:

Grab your camera and perfect that selfie – you’re going to need both, with so many sights to see in Washington DC. Immerse yourself in American history—no other city can match DC in making it come alive. Here’s our top 10 count down…

  1. US Capitol
  2. The White House
  3. The Lincoln Memorial
  4. National Museum of African American History and Culture
  5. United States Holocaust Museum
  6. National Air and Space Museum
  7. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  8. National World War II Memorial
  9. Jefferson Memorial
  10. Washington Monument (That pointy thing)

Most of this is on the National Mall. Be prepared—it’s BIG—about 2 miles from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Surrounding the Mall are the many museums of the Smithsonian. Here you can see, touch and experience our history in a way you have never seen before!

Interns in DC dress for work

Business attire is a must for most work places. We have 4 seasons, and temperature ranges from hot and steamy in the summer to snow days in the winter. Dress for the right season.

Here’s a guide on what to wear while interning in DC:

Professional Business Attire

Men – Suit pants, jacket, dress shirts, tie and brown/black dress socks and dress shoes

Women – Dress pants, dresses or skirts, suit jacket, blouses and brown /black hose and dress shoes

Casual Business Attire

Men –Khaki pants, dress/polo shirt and brown/black dress socks and shoes

Women – Khaki pants or skirt, a nice top or neat sweater and neutral dress shoes

Typically, interns are required to wear business clothes to work, but allow for days off and nightlife in your wardrobe.

Casual Fridays/Dress Down Days

Many offices have dress down Fridays.

This can often mean that polo shirts and khaki pants or jeans are permitted in the office, but always, always confirm with your supervisor.

After hours dressing is more casual, so bring a range of wardrobe options.

What to Bring with You

When staying with us, all residences are equipped with kitchen gear: microwaves, dishes, pots and pans, etc. No need to bring that with you.

Wi-Fi is free and it works.

Here’s more about what to bring:

Bedding: Bring a full set of linens: pillows, blankets, sheets, and towels.

Clothes hangers: Most students leave their hangers behind, some don’t. If there aren’t any, it’s easy to pick some up when you get here.

Clothes: Sweat pants for study, formal suit for impressing, dress shirts or blouses, dress shoes and walking shoes. (You’ll be doing a lot of that) Bring designer gear for dining out.

Electronic Devices: Laptop? Check. Smartphone? Double check. Beyond this essential tech, all WISH housing includes free Wi-Fi and features flat screen TVs in the communal areas.

If you have a special request, call the office.

Getting Around DC

The Metro system is amazing here. It’s clean, easy to navigate and will get you anywhere.

Here’s 12 tips on how to use the Metro:

    1. Sign up for a SmarTrip Metrocard before you arrive in DC. It can get crowded at the machines. Or purchase at any Metro station or at CVS for $10.
    1. The Metro consists of 6 color-coded lines: Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green and Silver, which go in different directions. Metro lines are connected via transfer stations and many Metro stops are serviced by more than one color.
    2. Do a test run – get used to the system before it hits rush hour – practice your route to work before your first day. Need help? Attendants are on hand at the turnstiles.
    3. Keep your card handyyou’ll need it to exit at your destination.
    4. Get up-to-the-minute travel updates via the WMATA app (head over to wmata.com to download).
    5. Get alertssign up for transportation, utility and weather alerts to receive emails and texts about delays, outages and emergencies.
    6. Forget escalator etiquette at your peril – remember – stand on the right, walk on the left.
    7. Once your train pulls in, stand away from the center of the doors to allow the current travelers to exit.
    8. Stay safe – don’t use your cell phone or other gadgets – and be extra vigilant while the doors are closing (this is when most thefts occur).
    9. Metro doors are not like elevator doors – try to stop them and you could get injured.
    10. Metro Stations have multiple exits – use the wrong one and you could end up multiple blocks away from your destination. So check your exit and look for signs to your destination.
    11. Hungry, thirsty or fancy a cigarette? Wait until you’re out and away from the Metro, otherwise you could land yourself with a citation or a fine (and always take your litter with you).

Getting Here by Air, Train and Car

By Plane

National Airport (DCA) is the closest airport. There is a Metro stop on the Blue/Yellow lines connected to the airport, which you can take to Union Station, which is about a 3-block walk to the WISH office for check-in. Too much baggage? It’s around a 6-mile drive in a taxi from this airport to the WISH office, typically costing less than $25. Or you could always catch a ride using Uber or Lyft.

Dulles International Airport (IAD) – 30 miles west of DC, this is a good second option, although the drive in takes between 40 – 60 minutes.

SuperShuttle can be a more affordable alternative to a taxi, although it does take longer. You’ll find a SuperShuttle boarding area on the lower level of Dulles Airport

If you don’t mind the bus, there’s a Silver Line Express that takes you to the Silver Line Metro, from where you can travel on to the Metro Center, then transfer to the Red Line to Union Station. Another bus option is the Washington Flyer Express, although it’s the least convenient of the four.

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is located 25 miles northeast of DC, about an hour’s drive from downtown DC. Taxis cost $50-80 – agree on a price before setting off. There are SuperShuttle buses into DC every 30 minutes daily from 6:00am – 11:30pm, costing around $45 one-way. For a cheaper alternative, take a train from BWI Airport, either the frequent peak hour departures of the MARC commuter line (check website for schedules and fares) or a daily Amtrak train. These services take 35-40 minutes and arrive at Washington’s Union Station where you’ll find taxis lined up and ready to roll.

By Train

If you are taking Amtrak, the closest station is Union Station, which is also a major hub on the Metro Red Line. This stop is just 3 blocks from the WISH office for check-in.


It’s best to leave the car behind. If you find on-street parking, make sure you read and understand the signs explaining the zone and length of time allowing for free parking (if applicable).



Experience DC the WiSE way!

Apply now for the next semester!