Embassy Seminars. Twelve-seminar series, $250; up to four individual seminars, $15 each. 331-0129.

We drive past them, gasp at them, and on rare occasions take a tour of them - Washington's embassies. But the International Policy Institute has arranged for us to see them from the inside, to talk with ambassadors or counselors, to listen to what they have to say and ask questions of them. Embassy Seminars are conducted about fifty times a year, in different embassies each week. About thirty people are admitted to each seminar, which starts with a reception at 6:30 - the fare ranging from a cup of coffee to a cocktail buffet, once even a full dinner - then a lecture by the representative on the country's foreign policy, economics, population, culture and the like. Finally, an hour is devoted to open discussion and questions from the visitors. Admission to the the seminars is by subscription ($250 for twelve seminars), but the IPI has an introductory offer of up to four seminars at $15 each.Students have been able to get college credit for the series; even without course credit, it is a good example of turning the city into a classroom.