This past semester I studied “abroad” in Washington, D.C. Through the LCWS program I was able to do an internship four days a week and take classes at night. Additionally every Wednesday we were taken on field trips throughout the nation’s capitol. A third part of the program was called the “Washington Experience Module” (or “WEM”) and through this curriculum we got to volunteer our time for different causes around D.C.
Since the field trips were my favorite part of the program, I’ll talk about those first. I got to see parts of D.C. that I never would have been able to on my own. We were taken on White House tours, got tickets to the Atlantic Festival, and got to see Capitol Hill. My favorite though was when we visited the Newseum (for free!) I loved it so much that I went back and visited on my own 3 more times while I was in D.C.
I spent most of my time in D.C. working at my internship. I helped to plan a film festival and my internship was in Bethesda so I got very accustomed to the Metro (another huge perk of LCWS is that they give you an unlimited metro card so that DC’s underground is FREE – this is insanely valuable and I would pay upwards of $1000 to have this special metro pass back.) This was a great experience not only because of the usual perks of doing an internship (job experience, resume filler, etc.) but because usually you can only complete internships in the summer, so it was nice to have an extra work experience under my belt. Additionally, LCWS put on a lot of practice networking events so I was able to practice making contacts.
The classes I took last semester were the Art of Communication in the Nation’s Capitol and American Diversity. The former was great because our professor brought a ton of speakers to class and we got to go on field trips (we visited WJLA, ABC’s local affiliate and Paul Ryan’s head of communications which means we got to take pictures on the Speaker’s balcony.) Through American Diversity I was able to go to the National Museum of African American History a second time for free (the first time was on a Wednesday field trip) because my professor is a docent there. Through these classes I was also able to meet other students in the program from schools across the country. And best of all, all of the classes I took counted for Gettysburg requirements!
Lastly, a major perk of this program is the housing. We all lived in pent house apartments in Rosslyn, VA which is right next to the Marine Corps Memorial. If only Gettysburg could step its housing game up.
All in all, I highly recommend the LCWS program to anyone considering going abroad, especially if you don’t want to necessarily leave the country.