Skip To Main Content
Austin, Texas - A view of the city over the river


Living and working in Austin, Texas, is a unique, educational, and fun experience that is only offered every other year. Therefore, students interested in a Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) internship in Austin, must plan ahead, as offerings are only available when the Texas State Legislature is in session ( spring of odd-numbered years).


students standing together with Austin Capital building in the background

Working in Austin

As a PPIP intern, you can count on acquiring a set of transferable skills in the dynamic work environment of Texas policy making. Interning in our state capitol or a state agency is sure to be an exciting semester that will change your life, focus your career goals, and build your professional network.

You will gain an understanding of how policy affects absolutely everything, which can be a benefit in your future career. Every day in Austin is a learning experience and a chance to help shape the direction of Texas. From day to day, week to week, your role can fluctuate with the changing demands of office staff and legislative objectives. But no matter what office you’re in, you are bound to have a work experience unlike any you have had before!

Because PPIP interns are placed in a variety of internships, no single description is available to define the work an intern does on a daily basis. However, you can anticipate doing a variety of things that may include (but are not limited to):

two females sitting and talking with Texas state flag in the background

Possible Legislative Duties

  • Attend hearings and briefings
  • Track and assist with current legislation
  • Work with legislative committees
  • Research public policy issues
  • Draft policy briefs and issue memos for office staff
  • Sit in on meetings with special interest groups, constituents, and legislators
  • Give weekly updates on public policy issues to supervisors

Possible Office Duties

  • Receive and reply to public inquiries
  • Interact with and serve office visitors
  • Compile and distribute important office documents/briefings
  • Work with individual staff members on projects
  • Track and respond to constituent phone calls, emails, and office visits
  • Assist in editing correspondence and press releases
  • Draft and send issue letters to constituents
  • Complete other basic administrative duties


Living in Austin

Austin PPIP interns not only benefit from gaining professional work experience, but also have the unique opportunity to live in our state capital! An exciting and unique city, Austin is known for its rich culture, originality, and innovative spirit. Scroll down to learn more about the Live Music Capital of the World!

Areas of Town

  • Downtown:  Visit the 2nd Street District for a laid-back and chic Austin experience, or check out Austin’s famous 6th Street for a night of mingling and dancing after a long week at work!
  • South Austin:  South Congress (SoCo), a unique and trendy area of town, is packed with history, shopping, and a variety of delicious and interesting restaurants. Also enjoy the monthly “First Thursdays” event.
  • North Austin:  Check out Arboretum, a newer and bustling area of Austin for shopping, eating, and numerous essential services.
  • East Austin:  The Riverside/Oltorf area offers a plethora of housing (apartment) opportunities as well as parks and other outdoor activities!
  • West Austin:  Westlake Hills is mostly comprised of beautiful houses and cozy families, but check out this area to get an excellent view of the Hill Country!

Spring Events in Austin

  • The Capitol 10K is usually held in late March or early April. Grab a friend and enjoy the Austin tradition of running and walking all in the name of charity!
  • Another Austin tradition is the South by Southwest music and film festival. Get your tickets early and enjoy several days of music, food, culture, and fun!
  • On Orange and Maroon Day, Longhorns and Aggies come together to help make their universities better for the next generation of college students.

Museums and Performing Arts

For those with an appreciation for art and an interest in Texas history, check out the museums sprinkled throughout Austin.  The city also offers a wide variety of events for those with an artistic side such as symphony, ballet, and theatre performances.


Austin was named the Live Music Capital of the World for a reason! Music in Austin sustains the economy and feeds the souls of thousands of families and individuals who value this important tradition. Take time during your semester in our state capital to enjoy a surplus of music and events.


Need a day of relaxation and fun? Don’t worry! Austin has much to offer for outdoor enthusiasts.  Check out the many hike and bike trails in and around the city. Or grab your boots and check out some of the popular dance halls around town.

It is crucial to establish relationships that have potential to open doors in the future. With the combined knowledge I have gained from researching bills, engaging in meaningful conversations with politicians, lobbyists, and constituents, and just paying attention to my surroundings, I feel much more confident with entering the professional world than I did three months ago.

Daniela Silva | Austin, TX, Spring 2013