Capital Encounter is a one-week program available for students who cannot serve a standard full-semester internship in Washington, DC. Students travel with Hinckley Managing Director, National Internships Gina Shipley and Political Science Assistant Professor Dr. James Curry to the nation's capital at the culmination of the spring semester. Students who engage in this whirlwind of activity typically experience the following singular opportunities:

  • Spend an hour with a U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Meet with Utah’s Congressional Delegation
  • Discuss foreign policy with a former National Security Advisor
  • Interact with professional lobbyists
  • Question prominent national journalists
  • Tour the White House, Treasury Building, and Library of Congress
  • Have VIP tours of U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol Building
  • See the Holocaust and Smithsonian Museums
  • Tour Arlington National Cemetery and the historic National Mall
  • Visit National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and the Newseum
  • Visit CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia
  • Attend a Washington Nationals Major League Baseball Game
Capital Encounter meeting with National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia.

Capital Encounter meeting with National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia.


  • Who is most eligible?
    • Priority goes to non-traditional students, student athletes, or other students who are unable to complete a standard DC internship due to work, family, and/or collegiate obligations. 
  • When are the travel dates for Spring 2018?
    • May 4–10, 2018
  • Do you have to register for credit?
    • Yes. You must register for three credit hours of HNKLY 4914. During the spring semester you will meet four (4) times with Associate Professor Dr.  James Curry and Gina Shipley to prepare for your DC experience.
  • What are the costs associated with this class?
    • Students are responsible for the cost of tuition, airfare, and food while in DC.  The Hinckley Institute generously covers student housing. 
  • Where is the housing located?
    • Students stay at the Park Place apartments located in downtown DC. 

Past Capital Encounter schedules



October 20, 2017

The experience I had with the DC Encounter was life-changing. After this experience, I have been making plans to return to live in DC and work with a Senator or Congressperson to continue to participate in governmental affairs. This experience literally re-defined my future, and I am forever grateful.
— Kennedy Clayton