Summer Diplomatic Academy


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Online Option
  • July 6-31, 2020 | Monday–Friday, 3 hours a day
In-Person Option (Dependent on COVID-19 Situation)
  • July 20-31, 2020 | Washington, DC | Monday–Friday (all day) & Saturday (half-day)


Our Summer Diplomatic Academy is a unique and intensive practical training program that introduces undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates to careers in international diplomacy. It covers the fundamentals of diplomatic practice and focuses on real-life aspects of work in governments, embassies and consulates, international organizations and global NGOs. The material emphasizes a skills-based and experiential-learning approach, and is generally not offered at colleges and universities. The program also includes career-counseling sessions. Students receive certificates from the Academy.

The course is taught by career ambassadors and other professional diplomats who have served in dozens of countries over several decades. They provide insight into policy-making and implementation, diplomatic protocol, the functions and management of embassies and consulates, diplomatic reporting and writing, negotiation and mediation, political and economic tradecraft, public diplomacy and cross-cultural communication and other skills and competencies.

We teach what you can’t learn from books, Google or YouTube. 

In-Person Program

At this time, we are planning to hold the in-person program as scheduled on July 20-31, 2020, depending on coronavirus conditions. We are continually reassessing the situation and will make a final decision by May 31. No tuition payments will be due until then. If you have applied, we will provide updates and inform you of any changes by email to the address you included in your application. In case we have to cancel the course, you may also apply to the online program.

Online Program

The online program will take place July 6-31, 2020, and will include two 90-minute sessions per day (with one 30-minute break), Monday through Friday, for a total of 60 instruction hours. The exact start time will be determined based on the locations of those accepted in the class. We will do our best to accommodate trainees in various time zones.

Except for taking place online, the course will be the same as the in-person version, including content, instructors, exercises, discussions, assignments, Q&A and other interactions with instructors and fellow trainees. The available technology allows us to offer the training live in real time, and permits you to see both the instructor and his/her presentation at the same time, as well as fellow trainees, and to raise your hand if you have a question.

Classes are limited to 20 trainees, so everyone can receive attention from the instructors. During exercises, the class will be divided into groups of four or five — the technology allows for breakout groups that can work independently of the other groups, and for trainees to see each other during discussions and deliberations.

Program Sessions

  • The National and International Diplomacy Systems
  • The Interagency Foreign-Policy Process
  • Diplomatic Protocol and Immunities
  • Managing a Diplomatic Mission
  • Exercise: Competing Mission Priorities
  • Political Tradecraft
  • Diplomatic Advocacy and Lobbying
  • Diplomatic Reporting and Writing
  • Exercise: Writing Diplomatic Cables
  • Diplomatic Communication: How to Talk and Listen Like a Diplomat
  • Exercise: Delivering a Diplomatic Démarche
  • Economic Tradecraft
  • Environmental and Science Diplomacy
  • Health Diplomacy
  • Commercial Diplomacy
  • Consular Affairs
  • Crisis-Management Abroad
  • Career-Counseling Session
  • The Diplomacy-Defense-Intelligence Axis
  • Public Diplomacy: Media Relations and Cultural Affairs
  • Exercise: Media Interviews
  • Public Speaking in a Diplomacy Context
  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Diplomatic Negotiation and Mediation
  • Exercise: Diplomatic Negotiation
  • Cyber Diplomacy
  • Multilateral Diplomacy

*The agenda is subject to change as needed.

Application Process

Undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates and early-career professionals are eligible to apply to the Summer Diplomatic Academy. Previous coursework in political science, international relations or related fields is highly desirable, but not required. You may apply for both the in-person and online programs at the same time.

Applications must include a completed application form and a CV or résumé. A cover letter or personal statement, explaining how the academy will help you achieve your career goals (up to 500 words), is strongly encouraged but not required. We reserve the right to ask for such a statement if we believe it will strengthen your application.

Both U.S. and foreign citizens may apply. Fluency in English is required. International applicants to the in-person program who are not already in the United States will be responsible for obtaining their own U.S. entry visas on the basis of our admission letter. Candidates from visa-waiver countries need an electronic visa (ESTA), which can be obtained online.

Application deadline: April 30, 2020

Tuition & Other Fees

The tuition fee is USD 4,000 and includes the cost of all sessions and study materials (except for recommended books). The fee is the same for the in-person and online programs. In both cases, classes are limited to 20 trainees, so everyone can receive attention from the instructors.

For trainees in the in-person program, we also offer hotel accommodation. The price is USD 1,300 for double occupancy and USD 2,300 for single occupancy. Prices cover 13 nights, checking in on July 19 and checking out on August 1. Additional nights are available upon request.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

The Washington International Diplomatic Academy (WIDA) is an independent educational institution dedicated to strengthening global diplomacy by providing the highest-quality training, executive educat ... Read More

The Washington International Diplomatic Academy (WIDA) is an independent educational institution dedicated to strengthening global diplomacy by providing the highest-quality training, executive education and professional development in diplomatic practice to government officials, NGO and business leaders from around the world. Read less