Congratulations, you’ve accepted an internship in Washington, D.C.! Moving to the District for an internship is an exciting and career altering experience. With the presence of the Government, law firms, think tanks, embassies and various international and not for-profit organizations, many people flock to the District for the spring and summer. This is one of Sojourn’s favorite times. Sojourn started by catering to all the people visiting DC to leverage temporary opportunities, but there is something exhilarating about placing summer interns. We are writing this article to share helpful tips about the District’s housing market to help you plan your stay so you can make the most out of your internship experience.
We begin by outlining factors you should consider as you prepare to begin your housing search such as budget and location. Next, we explain District specific questions you should raise with property managers and landlords as you tour potential internship accommodations.
We end by sharing tips on how to prepare for your move, and things to do in and around the District.
Where to Start:
Unless you are one of the lucky interns whose internship includes housing, your housing choice is most likely going to be driven by budget. The District is a relatively expensive city to live in, and in the summer time it is a very competitive market. For
that reason, it is crucial to set a realistic budget for housing, food, transportation, and other expenses. One way to increase your housing budget is to try and find a roommate, or two. This can be done through word of mouth, reaching out to your internship to ask about other interns coming and, of course, various online resources. With that said, multi-room options go quickly so if you are considering this route, it is best to start your search as soon as your internship is confirmed.
In determining your budget, it’s important to account for taxes. In the District,any stay 90 days and under is considered transient and your accommodation will be subject to a 14.95% transient sales tax. If you are looking at staying in Northern Virginia, if your stay is under 90 days, but over 30 days, your tax will be limited to the 6% state tax. The tax certainly needs to be factored into your budget if it applies.
Once you have identified a realistic budget, next you will need to consider location.
Location, Location, Location:
DC is a city of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and amenities. Some neighborhoods may be more convenient for commuting to your internship, while others may offer better housing options or entertainment options. Before starting your search for housing options, it is important to do some research on the District and its neighborhoods. A good way to get a sense of the local neighborhoods is to use online resources like dcist.com or Washington.org.
Where you live can augment your internship experience. For instance, if you are interning on Capitol Hill, living on Capitol Hill with the locals adds flavour to your experience. While the vibe of a neighborhood is an important factor, you should also consider your commute. The District has a reliable public transportation system, including a metro system and bus routes (which is set to be free as of July 1st). It also has an extensive network of accessible shared options, like bikes and scooters and tons of new bike lanes. Factoring in how you will get from your housing accommodation to your internship is a must. If you are working at an Embassy or think tank, Dupont may make the most sense. Both Dupont and Capitol Hill are convenient for summer students in law firms, as is downtown, depending of course on where your law firm is located. Mapping out your commute is important as the last thing you want to spend your internship doing is commuting.
One other thing to keep in mind when looking for a temporary accommodation is that
D.C. has a humid subtropical climate in the summer and can be very sticky. While it is important to pack appropriate clothing for the weather, you should also try and find a place that has some kind of air conditioning, especially if you aren’t used to humid summers.
And now you are ready to Choose your DC Internship Accommodation Given all of the different internships available in the DC area, finding suitable temporary housing can be a challenge. Sojourn is a great place to start. Sojourn
manages and operates fully-furnished apartments in the District as well as in
Northern Virginia. We offer a variety of different types of apartments, including studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom options, and even co-living. All of our rentals are located in convenient neighborhoods, and are fully equipped with modern amenities like high-speed internet and smart TVs.
One of the biggest benefits of staying with Sojourn is the convenience. All of our apartments are turnkey. They come fully furnished, including linens and kitchen supplies. They are move-in ready, so all you have to do is bring your personal belongings. Of course, most importantly, Sojourn is a flexible furnished rental company where your lease matches your stay to the day. Depending on the unit you choose, you can stay a night, a month or a year. In addition, all of our apartments are professionally managed and maintained, so you can rest assured, should any issues arise, they will be promptly addressed. Sojourn believes in the human component of hospitality. We have a team on the ground, ready to assist as necessary. Sojourn was built for people just like you. The name says it all, Sojourn exists for those who are looking for a temporary stay!
Finally, staying with Sojourn can be a great way to connect with other interns and professionals in your field. Many of our summer residents are young professionals, including interns, so you may have the opportunity to meet and network with others in your field.
One last thing to consider: Proximity to things to do in Washington, DC
In choosing where you want to live, you might also want to consider all that Washington has to offer so you can tailor your location for easy access to your favourite activity. Washington DC is a city full of rich cultural history and plenty of activities to keep you busy outside of your internship. A must-visit destination is the National Mall, where you can see the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and other famous monuments and memorials. The Smithsonian museums are also free to visit and offer a diverse range of exhibits that explore topics such as art, history, and science.
As mentioned, Washington, D.C. is also known for its diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and culture. Some popular neighborhoods to explore include Georgetown, Adams Morgan, and Dupont Circle. Capitol Hill, the Navy Yard and Union Market are also great options. All of these neighborhoods offer a variety of restaurants, bars, and cultural attractions, and each has its own feel.
Finally, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, you can take advantage of the many outdoor activities that the District and the surrounding areas have to offer. The City has a plethora of parks, including Rock Creek Park and the National Arboretum. You can also rent kayaks or canoes on the Potomac River or go for a bike ride on one of the many trails around the District.
Managing the Internship
Your internship is the reason you are moving to Washington, D.C., so it is important to make the most out of it. Internships are a valuable opportunity to develop skills
and gain experience in your field but it is also an opportunity to make new friends and contacts, and enjoy living in the Nation’s Capitol. Finding a work-life balance is crucial. While it is important to work hard and meet your goals, it is also important to enjoy your adopted city. Choosing the right accommodation is important as it can really enhance your experience. Conversely, choosing the wrong accommodation that has a huge commute can negatively impact your experience.
Moving to Washington D.C. for an internship can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By doing some research, budgeting appropriately, and positioning yourself to take advantage of the many activities and opportunities available in the City, you can maximize your time in the District. Sojourn would love to help you find the perfect place for you to call home while you are in the District. Our rentals are all fully furnished and thoughtfully so, and our lease terms are flexible. We have the experience and a team ready to help you navigate the District’s market and help you manage all of these considerations. Regardless of how you find your summer accommodations, we wish you all the best and hope that you immerse yourself in all that your internship and temporary home have to offer!