I am sure Washington D.C. is not many peoples first choice of a study abroad site. After all it is only a mere 4-5 hours away from New York City however I would recommend going to D.C. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, as I know it isn’t a city that everyone would enjoy but there really is a lot more to the city than many people think, myself included.
One of the best things about D.C. is their excellent internship program. Almost everyone from NYU who is studying abroad is also interning. I have heard so many people talk about the great experiences they have been having at their internships. The range of internships offered in D.C. is also something I don’t think many people are aware of. There are the typical political internships were you can go work for a congressman/woman or a senator but these are by no means the best or only ones offered.
I have friends who are working at the Smithsonian at a mammal exhibition where she gets to label and dissect animal bones, which sounds great for those who are interested in it. Several students are interning at the Center for American Progress (CAP) where they have the opportunity to work on several projects from youth projects to women advancement in the work force. There is the possibility to intern at the White House as well as other governmental agencies such as the Department of Justice where two students are currently working.
There are also more private sector internships that are available. Some NYU students are working at consulting and lobbying firms, which offer a different perspective to D.C. than the public sector internships. Taking the internship class at NYUDC means you can gain sights into all of the different internships students are taking as at the beginning of each class we give a brief update on how are week has gone.
One important piece of advice for those who are planning on interning in Washington DC is to make sure that you decide as early as possible so you can apply to as many internships as possible. Some internships have deadlines that are only a few months away so to make sure you have a change of getting them apply as soon as possible.
Apart from the internship, which is one of my favorite things about D.C., there are many great things about the city. The NYUDC campus is brand new, only two years old, which means that the dorms are the best I have ever lived in. If you are lucky you live on the front side of the building by the glass windows that can make you feel like you are living in the clouds. The small size of the campus means that classes are usually no more than fifteen people allowing you to ask questions and really get access to professors. Additionally professors usually also have full time jobs which means that they can give you real life advice. My journalism professor, Seth Bornstein, works for the Associated Press and has taken us on a tour of the office. It is one of my favorite classes and also my number one recommendation for anyone studying aboard in DC.
Outside of the campus there are many places to discover. There are hundreds of museums, numerous monuments and delicious cuisines to try. It’s impossible to leave DC and have seen everything, which means that your weekends will never be boring as long as you make plans! (Plus you could always go visit New York if you needed to!)