Washington D.C. WISH Program

The Ettling Center Alternative Breaks Program encourages UIW students from across the campus to become involved and engaged with communities beyond the boundaries of UIW. The Alternative Breaks Program seeks to train students in aspects associated with successful community engagement—including cultural competence, logistics, and facilitation—and send students to places outside of San Antonio to perform short-term service projects to serve local communities. By giving students the opportunity to serve others outside their usual surroundings, they will learn to adjust, adapt, and acquire life-long lessons as well as obtain a better understanding of social justice issues within the United States.

WISH Program

Are you interested in working for the government, a non-profit, a business trade association, the media, a justice and law agency, or a national political organization in our nation's capital? Does the thought of gaining professional work experience while building your resume and making contacts for your future excite you? Would you like an off campus experience in an international, cosmopolitan environment? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider an internship in Washington, DC.

Through the University of the Incarnate Word Washington Program, working with the Washington in Student Housing Internships (WISH), participating students will intern 32 hours a week for a semester and have a weekly seminar with experts and policy practitioners. You will earn course credit hours for your participation in the program in Washington. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to live, learn and work in our nation's capital during these interesting times for our country!


Applications are being accepted for the following semesters:

Spring 2018 - Deadline October 12, 2017

Summer 2018 - Deadline February 15, 2018

Fall 2018 - Deadline May 3, 2018

Complete a Wish Application

Course Credit, Fees and Grant

Students selected will register and pay for 9 hours of internship hours at UIW. UIW is offering a $4,710 WISH Internship grant to those students selected through a competitive application process that will assist with this tuition cost. In addition to the cost of tuition, there is a $6500 WISH internship fee which covers internship placement, housing in Washington DC for 4 months and internship related activities. This internship fee of $6,500 and other costs associated with travel to DC, meals and living expenses (including a one-time refundable housing deposit of $250) are the responsibility of the student. Costs may vary depending on summer or fall internships and length of stay. Additional course hours may be taken in on-line or independent study formats – based on the approval of a student’s academic advisor. All students are strongly encouraged to meet with their financial aid officers to determine the financial implications of participation.


Once you have been selected for the UIW-WISH opportunity, WISH Internships (www.internshipsdc.com) in Washington will communicate with you and assist in placing you in a premier internship suited to your interests prior to your arrival in Washington. Below is a sample list of possible internship sites. There are many additional opportunities in all fields for all majors.

The White House Congressional Offices and Committees International Human Rights Law Group The Department of Defense National Criminal Justice Association An Environmental Public Interest Group National Council on US- Arab Relations US Chamber of Commerce American Petroleum Institute The Democratic or Republican National Committee National Peace Corps Association INTERPOL The Department of Justice Print and Broadcast Journalism Organizations Office of the US Trade Representative Women's Campaign Fund


Participants will live together in historic townhouses and apartments on Capitol Hill, owned and managed by Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH). These intern-only facilities are fully furnished and include Internet connection, cable TV, full kitchens, free laundry, etc. and are located near Metro. More information on WISH can be found at http://internsdc.com/

Featured Student

UIW student ''Maria Bedolla'' participated in the UIW-WISH Internship program this year. Maria worked for the Global Peace Youth program during the 2016 summer, where she assisted with the coordination of the 9th International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA), which took place in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City from August 8-17, 2016. The IYLA brought together young leaders from all over the world to interact with each other and with leaders of globally significant national and international institutions while engaging the principles of enlightened global leadership. Maria Bedolla (second from the right) pictured with other interns.

maria  bedolla

Un Verano con ARISE

Un Verano con ARISE (A Summer with ARISE) Program is a one-week Ettling Center Alternative Breaks summer immersion experience which gives students an opportunity to serve children and families in colonias in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Colonias are unincorporated subdivisions that are home to immigrant families along the Texas-Mexico border. The Ettling Center collaborates with the ARISE ( A Resource In Serving Equality) organization that was founded by the Sisters of Mercy over 20 years ago. Students plan and implement a one week summer camp for the children in one of five colonias that ARISE serves and earn 50 hours of community service hours for their participation. Students also gain an understanding of cross-border issues such as immigration, housing, environmental justice, health and education. Housing and accommodations are provided at one of the ARISE centers located in the colonia they are serving. The fee for participation is $25 and the Ettling Center covers travel and accommodation expenses. To learn more about this opportunity visit the Ettling Center located in the Administration building room 158 of the UIW Main Campus, (210) 283-6423.

Ettling Student Engagement/Collaboration Programs

Meet the Mission-Day of Service

  • Meet the Mission is organized and sponsored by the Office of Mission and Ministry and supported by the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership. The event is held every September with the generous support of faculty, staff and students to ensure this “Day of Service” serves the needs of our local community. Over 300 UIW community members serve the community in many capacities including assistance at The Park at Sutton Oaks, H.I.S. Bridge Builders, Ella Austin Community Center, Boys and Girls Club, KLRN, and The Neighborhood Place.

Golden Harvest

  • The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership, in collaboration with UIW's Student Government Association and other campus offices/departments, support and encourage campus-wide participation in the university's annual Golden Harvest. Golden Harvest is held in the Fall of each academic year in an effort to bring awareness and help the local community's effort in hunger and homelessness by donating and gathering canned goods for the local food bank.

National Night Out

  • The UIW community including the Ettling Center assisted and hosted this year's National Night Out outside the UIW Convocation Center in October. The public event which attracted over 500 visitors offered an evening of games, activities, music and free food as well as information on campus safety, healthy living, sexual assault prevention and drug and alcohol awareness.

Student Voter Registration

  • The Ettling Center in collaboration with UIW student organizations and students has been hosting events to encourage and educate students on voting rules, guidelines and the application process to become a registered voter. Voter Registration events will continue throughout the Fall and Spring semesters.

Leukemia & Lymphoma-Light the Night

  • The University of the Incarnate Word participated in the 2015 Light the Night event benefiting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) on Oct. 10 th. This year’s event raised over $1.2 million dollars locally. Under the guidance of the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership, the university had over fifty faculty, staff and students participate in the event raising over $5,800. The university plans to continue to be an active member in this annual fundraising event and is already beginning plans for 2016 to surpass this year's largest contribution.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Latina Leadership & Mentoring Program

  • UIW's Ettling Center for Civic Leadership hosted the 2015 Commencement Ceremony for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Latina Leadership Institute on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at the Rosenberg Sky Room. This collaborative effort which will also incorporate a Professional/Student Mentoring Program focused on approximately 50 Latina undergraduate students over the next three years has been recognized by the President’s White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ 25 th anniversary call to action as well as on the United States Congressional Floor by Congressman Joaquin Castro.

Cardinal Camp

  • The Ettling Center collaborated with the Office of Student Life as part of the university’s second annual Cardinal Camp for new students. As a result of the Ettling Center’s participation, approximately 145 students participated in support of the South Texas Bone Marrow Registry and Lymphoma and Leukemia- Light the Walk Initiative.

Homecoming Week

  • The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership in collaboration with Student Counseling and University Events and Student Programs and Alumni Programs supported and promoted Homecoming Week. Events scheduled throughout the week support and encourage school spirit and unity.

Heritage Day

  • The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership in collaboration with Student Counseling and University Events and Student Programs and other campus offices/departments supported and promoted Heritage Day, the founding of The University of the Incarnate Word, events scheduled throughout the day support and encourage school spirit and history of the institution.

Campus Awareness/Appreciation

  • The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership in collaboration with Student Counseling and University Events and Student Programs, Campus Ministry, Student Counseling, Residence Life, Student Success, and Career Services continue to support and encourage student participation in events . These celebrations of respect for others regardless of their race/ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, age, or creed to enhance civil respect throughout the UIW campus take place throughout the year and showcase various events and programs.
    • Civility Week
    • Hispanic Heritage Month
    • Native American Month
    • Peace & Social Justice Month
    • Black History Month
    • Women’s History Month
    • International Awareness Week
    • Green/Earth Week
    • Veteran’s Remembrance