My Semester Abroad…In Washington DC

At Wash U, there are a ton of different study abroad options should you choose to take a semester and go explore somewhere new. Because I’m doing the Brown School 3-2 program, I knew that if I wanted to go ~abroad~, I should do it as early as possible. In all honesty, I was looking at the programs in alphabetical order on the website, and the first one said “American University” and I decided to stop my search there.

My semester at AU consisted of two 4 credit seminar classes on American Politics, an internship for 30 hours a week, and a regular AU elective course I chose to take. I was drawn to the program because of the internship database they connected me with, allowing me to communicate with internship directors all over the city. DC is truly run by interns, if anyone wants to shut down the nation’s capital, just unionize the interns. The country will stop.

After searching for different jobs and applying to numerous places, I chose to accept an internship at PBS, with their all woman news analysis program, To the Contrary. Working in media for the first time, I got to sit in on tapings, help write interview questions and work directly with guests. I got to travel to different events all over DC and cover them for PBS. I got to attend protests, marches, panel discussions, and a press conference with Supreme Court Justice, Notorious RBG.

My semester “away” was cut short obviously because of the looming pandemic forcing me to contemplate my own mortality from my parents living room in Florida, however I’m extremely grateful for my time in DC, and wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else. It sounded really weird to tell everyone I was studying abroad…in America, but the truth is I wouldn’t have had any of the same opportunities I did in DC, had I actually gone to another country. Wash U has a full time study abroad office filled with advisors to help you find the study away program right for you, but if you are at all interested in government, and excited by the idea of a flight thats only two hours, DC could maybe be an option.