Promoting friendship between the United States and Slovakia since 2001

The Best Summer Of My Life: Live, Learn, and Intern in Washington, D.C.


By Monika Izáková, IEIA 2012, President TFAS Slovakia, and the 2012 FOS Scholar

I’ve always wanted to know and see as much as possible as well as experience and discover how things work in practice. Thanks to successful studies and several internships in government, I did pretty well in achieving this dream of mine. However, I have never even imagined that I would be able to actually live my dream on the other shore of the Atlantic.

Thanks to a friend of mine, I learned about the American educational non-profit organization The Fund for American Studies (hereinafter referred to as “TFAS”). Since 1993, TFAS jointly with Friends of Slovakia (hereinafter referred to as “FOS”) annually provides Slovak students full scholarships to summer school at George Mason University (formerly Georgetown University). TFAS was founded in 1967 by Charles Edison, former Governor of the State of New Jersey and son of the inventor Thomas Alva Edison.

TFAS Summer School in Washington DC is among the best and most interesting training courses that are offered during the summer holidays in the US capital. It attracts and brings together students from all over the world and from different disciplines. In addition to the program in Washington, TFAS offers also regional programs and summer school in Prague – AIPES, which focuses on political philosophy, political economy, and conflict management, complemented by programs in Chile and Hong Kong.

In Washington DC, candidates from all over the world can choose a program focused on international relations (ICPES, IEIA), the relationship of the public and business sector (IBGA), journalism (IPJ), or volunteering (IPVS). The entire two-month program, in addition to humid and hot weather J, includes a guaranteed full-time internship in a company, organization, business unit, embassy, non-profit organization, or public institution chosen according to the preferences of a candidate, and in line with the selected program. The summer school and classes generally take place in the evening hours until 9 p.m. Therefore, you still have plenty of time to exchange ideas and explore the most political city in the world. The program also includes various discussions with renowned guests, lectures on current global economic and political issues, workshops, social activities with classmates, excursions, and visits to the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington DC, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Capitol and of course the White House.

In Summer School in Prague – AIPES, almost 120 students from North America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia meet annually in order to address important questions of political philosophy, political economy, and conflict management. The academic program provides opportunities to examine the political, economic, and cultural issues of the world in democratic conditions. AIPES combines diversity and culture as its basic principles for the education of future leaders.

TFAS has broadened my horizons and enriched me with valuable experience necessary for my future career. I am very grateful that I have been chosen as the 2012 FOS scholar and I have been awarded a scholarship at the Institute on Economics and International Affairs. Several thousand US dollars is not a small amount of money and without the generous support of TFAS and FOS, this dream would be hardly achievable for a number of Slovak students. Since 1993, we have put together over 70 graduates from Washington and Prague programs. We would like to give back what we have been generously granted, and therefore we are currently building the TFAS Slovakia Alumni organization. TFAS Slovakia’s main objective is to promote TFAS programs and activities, especially fundraising additional scholarships and other types of support for the successfully selected Slovak candidates.

Key dates: The application deadline for Washington DC is 15 January 2014 and for AIPES 15 March 2014. For more information, visit:

Read more about the 2012 FOS Scholars in our Newsletter.


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