Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Provided below are the answers to some of the questions we get asked most frequently before and during our courses. For more detailed answers, or for information regarding specific courses, please contact the Perry Center Registrar at chdsregistrar@ndu.edu

APPLYING TO COURSES

Generally speaking, the Perry Center offers 8-10 courses a year. For a listing of our upcoming courses, please visit Our Courses and Seminars page.

Courses are usually advertised on our site at least 6 months prior to their start date.

With a few exceptions, the normal application period for a Perry Center course is 2 months long, with a closure date approximately 2 months before the start of the course.

For specific information about course applications, please refer to that course.

Subject to a few limitations, Perry Center graduates are allowed to apply for additional courses:

  • There is usually an 18 month waiting period between courses. (e.g.: if you graduated from a resident course that began in October 2022 you may apply to a resident course that begins in April 2024 or later.)
  • Most in-person courses cannot be repeated.

 

The Application Process page on this site has more detailed information.

COSTS

The Perry Center grants full scholarships to individuals selected to attend resident courses in Washington, DC. Scholarships include round-trip airfare, lodging for the duration of the course, and all meals (combination of contracted meals and per diem payments). There is no cost (tuition) to attend the course itself. While the current fiscal environment has significantly reduced the overall number of scholarships available, the Perry Center remains dedicated to providing opportunities equitably to a diverse audience. Scholarships are not available for certain programs such as the Washington Security and Defense Seminar (WSDS) nor are necessary for fully virtual courses.

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of “high income” countries (as established by the World Bank) are not eligible for scholarships. At this time, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations *:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Panama
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay

Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a self-funded status. Self-funded candidates must meet all eligibility standards and comply with all application requirements, including application deadlines, as well as being able to cover the expenses of their own travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals. US citizens cannot (by law) receive scholarships, but may apply to attend in a self-funded status. US citizens and other self-funded candidates should contact the Registrar’s office for additional guidance.

* as of 01 July, 2022

In short, for each participant from a funded country selected to attend our courses, we will cover:

  • One (1) round-trip economy-class airfare with one (1) piece of checked luggage
  • Hotel lodging
  • Per diem
  • Select reimbursables

Per diem and reimbursements will be paid out in cash at the beginning and end of the course.

There is no cost to attend a Perry Center webinar, they are all free and open to the general public.  

The following costs are reimbursable:

  • Costs associated with obtaining a visa specifically to attend our course.
  • One piece of checked luggage (charges for additional pieces will not be reimbursed).
  • Ground transportation from the airport to the hotel if the hotel shuttle is unavailable, or you are flying into Dulles International Airport (IAD) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI).

Please bring your receipts for reimbursement on the first day of the course or seminar. The Perry Center is unable to provide reimbursement for any expense without a receipt.

  • The costs associated with obtaining a passport.
  • The costs associated with obtaining a visa specifically for a Perry Center course if the applicant is not selected to participate or does not make it off the waiting list.
  • Insurance covering COVID-related expenses in the United States (required).
  • Local and long-distance telephone calls made from the hotel.

If you are selected to participate, your spouse may stay with you in the hotel room. They will, however, be responsible for all of their meals, travel, and other expenses including additional room charges. While the Perry Center cannot plan activities for your spouse while you are in class, they are welcome to attend the graduation ceremony.

Please inform the Perry Center Registrar ahead of time if you are planning on bringing your spouse so that the necessary arrangements can be made.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION

The Perry Center requires electronic copies of following documentation 30 days prior to the start of its Washington, DC based courses:

  • The data page (contains your name, photo, ID number, expiration etc.) of the unexpired passport you will be using to travel.
  • A valid travel visa to enter the United States

Additionally, If you did not mention them in your application form, please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements and/or allergies (food or otherwise).

Scholarship recipients are responsible for obtaining a valid visa to enter the United States. The Perry Center does not guarantee the issuance of visas for courses. It is recommended that applicants have a current visa, as visa processes are taking longer than usual. For information about reimbursement for costs associated with obtaining a visa and/or passport, please review the course costs section of this FAQ.

  • Self-nominating participants who are civilian government employees must use their personal passports and visas to attend Perry Center courses, as they are attending in a personal capacity and not representing their government.
  • Participants who were nominated by their governments to attend should travel using their official/diplomatic passports if possible.

For additional information, please contact the Consular Office at your nearest US Embassy. Please note that the Security Cooperation Office / US Military Group at the Embassy does not process and is not responsible for visas.

Before you receive your base access pass, please bring your passport along with a copy of the invitation travel orders (ITO) provided by the US Embassy.

HEALTH / MEDICAL INFORMATION

As of May 12, 2023, the US Government dropped its requirement that nonimmigrant air passengers show proof of full vaccination with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine in order to board a flight into the United States. The Perry Center still strongly recommends that all participants of its in-person events be fully vaccinated.

For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/

If you test positive for COVID during the course, you will have to quarantine in the hotel and participate virtually through ZoomGov.  If you did not bring a laptop, or your laptop is unable to connect virtually, the Perry Center will provide you with one.

If you are experiencing COVID or flu-like symptoms in general (fever, cough, aches, sore throat, loss of taste/smell), please inform a member of the Perry Center staff as soon as possible, and they will provide you with a COVID self-test kit. Please do not take the shuttle bus to the Center if you suspect that you have contracted COVID. Health is everybody’s responsibility.

We currently do not require the use of masks or social distancing during our courses. Use of masks and social distancing (when possible), however, is highly recommended. Participants will be provided with hand sanitizer, and hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the building. 

If you are displaying any flu-like symptoms (regardless of your COVID test results) such as coughing and runny nose, the use of a face mask is mandatory.

This is an ever-changing situation, and these protocols may change on short notice.

If you are currently taking medication which requires a prescription (drugs for mental health, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.), please bring enough for your entire stay, as it is not possible to obtain prescription medication without a valid US prescription. In addition to bringing the medication itself, we recommend that you bring evidence of your prescriptions, so it can be presented to customs officials if asked. It is also recommended that you bring small amounts of cold, headache and stomachache medications. Similar over the counter medications can also be purchased at any pharmacy.

No. The cost of any medical services will be the responsibility of the individual. Due to the high cost of medical care in the United States, we strongly urge you to purchase travel insurance for your stay. It is also important that your insurance covers COVID-19 related illnesses. Urgent Care facilities are usually less expensive than a hospital visit. If you have any health problems or require special medical or dental care, please inform the Perry Center staff, and we will make every effort to ensure that you can find the services you need.

For military participants: Be sure to check what health/medical reciprocity terms, if any, exist between the US government and yours.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO/FROM WASHINGTON, DC

You will be travelling 1-2 days before the start of the in-person phase of the course (depending on ticket and routing availability).  The United States Embassy in your country will contact you in order to make the ticket purchase arrangements.

Please let the Embassy personnel know in advance if you have any special requests regarding the possibility of specific travel dates and/or flight routes outside of the Invitational Travel Order (ITO). Perry Center personnel are unable to make changes to tickets purchased by the Embassy. 

Once you have your new flight information (airline, flight number, arrival/departure time), please send a text message or a WhatsApp as soon as possible to the Perry Center’s staff to inform them of the changes.

Please contact the airline(s) ahead of time to find out the baggage allowances permitted for your fare. The Perry Center will only reimburse the cost of checking one (1) piece of luggage.

Regardless of which airport you will be arriving at, you will not be met by a member of the Perry Center. Perry Center Staff will be at the hotel to meet the majority of arriving participants to assist with check-in, answer questions, etc.

From Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) – The hotel shuttle bus pick-up spots are located at the entrance of Terminal 1 and directly outside of the baggage claim area (Level 1) of Terminal 2. As the pick-up spots will vary depending on your airline and the hotel you will be staying at, we will provide you with more detailed information closer to the course start date.  If the hotel shuttle is unavailable when you arrive, please take a taxi or a rideshare service to the hotel and keep your receipt so that you may be reimbursed.

From Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) – Please take a taxi or a rideshare service from the airport to the hotel.  Please keep your receipt so that you may be reimbursed.

While not required, you can confirm you return flight by calling the airline directly or visiting their web site 48 to 72 hours before the flight.

Some countries do not allow changes to your itinerary, given that you are traveling on invitational travel orders issued by the US government. Please contact the US Embassy in your home country for further information. You will be responsible for all additional costs associated with changing the return flight.

LOCAL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION

The Perry Center is located at Fort McNair in Southwest (SW) Washington, DC — about 15 minutes away from the hotel by private car. Our address is:

William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
National Defense University
Abraham Lincoln Hall
260 5th Avenue, Building 64
Fort Lesley J. McNair
Washington DC, 20319-5066

Our main telephone number is +1 (202) 685-4086

If you are traveling to the Perry Center via taxi/rideshare, we suggest that you tell the driver to use 1600 2nd Street SW as the destination (the corner of 2nd and Q Streets SW)

Pick-up and drop-off service between the hotel and the Perry Center will be provided through a contracted bus.  Generally speaking, the bus operates on the schedule listed below; dates/times specific to your course will be directly provided to you ahead of time.

  • Morning (Hotel to WPJPC): Pickup usually at 0730 on the first day, 0830 on subsequent days
  • Afternoon (WJPC to Hotel): Pickup at the conclusion of the day’s activities (usually between 1600 and 1630).

If you miss the bus, you will be responsible for getting to the Perry Center on your own.  We recommend taking a taxi or a rideshare service. The approximate cost is $20-$30 and is not reimbursable.

Yes, but given the number of stops and transfers that are required to make the trip, we do not recommend it.  Just like taking a taxi or rideshare service from the hotel, these are not reimbursable costs.  For more information, please visit https://www.wmata.com

  • Metrorail: The closest station is Waterfront/SEU (Green Line) followed by a 20 minute walk to Fort McNair’s main entrance.
  • Metrobus: The closest stop is 2nd and R Streets, SW (74 line – Southbound)

LODGING AND MEALS

As hotel contracts are competitively bid on and accepted by the US government, the Perry Center does not usually find out which hotel will be used until shortly before the in-person phase of the course begins. Participants are informed of their hotel as soon as possible.  That said, regardless of the hotel selected, all rooms will include internet access. Laundry service will not be included.

No. Each participant will have their own room.

The majority of hotels in the area are entirely smoke-free. Please ask the hotel staff as to their smoking policies. 

At the Perry Center, designated smoking areas are available at the sides of the building. Please be courteous to others and properly dispose of cigarettes in appropriate receptacles.

Long-distance telephone calls can be expensive, and the hotel may even charge you for calls that don’t connect. The Perry Center cannot pay for calls made from the hotel, which are the participant’s responsibility.

To reduce your reliance on the hotel’s long distance telephone service, consider the following options:

  • Purchase a pre-paid calling card, usable from any telephone (including the hotel). Hotel staff will be able to provide instructions on how to use a calling card from their phones.
  • If you are bringing a mobile phone, contact your cellular carrier and inquire about international plans, or purchase a pre-paid SIM card for use in the United States.

Unless otherwise noted, a selection of hot and cold boxed lunches will be provided every day participants are in class, as National Defense University offers minimal dining options. If you have special dietary requirements or food allergies, please let us know as soon as possible.

Coffee and tea service will be available throughout the day.

Snacks and soft drinks are also available for purchase through vending machines located throughout the building.

You are free to have dinner wherever you choose. There are many restaurants close to the the hotel you will be staying at. Members of the hotel staff can give you a list of local restaurants in addition to their own personal suggestions.

DURING THE COURSE

Unless otherwise noted, the general dress code for our courses is as follows:

  • First day – Formal business attire (coat and tie or their equivalent). Group and individual photos are taken this day.
  • Regular course days – Business casual (collared shirt, no tie, jacket optional, no jeans).
  • Last day – Formal business attire (coat and tie or their equivalent). Graduation photos are taken this day.

Regardless of the time of year, we recommend that participants bring a light sweater for their comfort, as our classrooms can get quite chilly due to excessive cooling.

Unless otherwise noted, the general dress code for our courses is as follows:

  • First day – Service dress uniforms (Class “A” or equivalent / coat and tie). Group and individual photos are taken this day.
  • Regular course days – Service uniform (Class “B” or equivalent).
  • Last day – Service dress uniforms (Class “A” or equivalent / coat and tie). Graduation photos are taken this day.

Regardless of the season, we recommend that participants bring a light sweater for their comfort, as our classrooms can get quite chilly due to excessive cooling

You will receive contact information (phone and/or e-mail) from those participants who have opted to share it.

COMPUTERS / IT SUPPORT AT THE CENTER

Participants are highly encouraged to bring their own personal devices (laptops, tablets, etc.) for use during the in-person phase of the course.

Depending on course requirements, all materials (required and recommended readings, presentations authorized for distribution, schedules, etc.) will be made available through either the Blackboard Learning System, or a Google Drive. You will be provided access to said materials prior to the start of the course.

We encourage participants to download readings to their personal devices prior to their travel to Washington, DC. As we cannot provide large-scale printing facilities, those people who prefer hard copies to electronic ones, are advised that they should make plans to print their own materials.

WiFi access is provided on an as-is basis, as the wireless network is operated by National Defense University, and we have no control over it.

Free Internet access is available to all participants who are lodged at the contracted hotel.

The Perry Center will provide small-batch printing and copying services for things like receipts, maps, directions, tickets, boarding passes, etc. The Perry Center is unable to provide print larger documents such as required course readings or make copies of items protected by copyright (such as books).

Due to the small size of the IT team at the Center, support of any personally owned devices will be provided on a “best effort” basis, as we won’t necessarily have all of the tools needed to resolve the issue.

ALUMNI

If you are in Washington and would like to stop by for a visit, please contact us at chdsalumni@ndu.edu to make arrangements.  Information on visiting the Perry Center (security requirements, parking, etc.) is available on our site’s Directions page.

Please contact the Outreach and Alumni office at chdsalumni@ndu.edu for assistance.

The Perry Center Registrar’s office at chdsregistrar@ndu.edu can provide a certification document for the course you attended.