When you think about studying abroad, Washington, DC usually isn’t what comes to mind; but my experience with the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS) Program was one that I would recommend for any Wittenberg student considering a semester away from Springfield. Typically this program is associated with the Political Science department, as it is advised by Political Science Professor Ed Hasecke, but this program and DC at large has so much to offer for a student from any academic background. I was among five students that participated in the program from Wittenberg this fall and while there were four of us from the Political Science department, we had a chance to meet fellow interns from various backgrounds that included communications, business, marketing, public relations, sociology, history, museum studies and many others. Our internship placements were just as diverse as our backgrounds, so while some chose to work on capitol hill as congressional staff members others chose to work in NGO’s and nonprofits, or in any of the various DC museums or in a marketing or PR firm.
The LCWS program is unique in that it offers students the chance to work full time as interns as well as take two evening classes and participate in events around the DC area that aren’t open to the everyday tourist visiting the nation’s capital. We sat in on congressional committee hearings, participated in media briefings and had a chance to meet with representatives from the State Department, The Eisenhower Institute and The U.S. Institute of Peace. Tickets to a performance at The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and to a forum held at The Heritage Foundation on the international drug trade were also among some of the benefits of being associated with the LCWS program.
Simply living in Washington, DC, the epitome of a cosmopolitan city, was an adventure that I think would equal that of any trip out of the U.S. DC is itself fairly small; totaling only 69 square miles, but during the course of one work day over two million people travel to fill that space. To give you an example, the apartments where the LCWS program houses students for the semester and provides evening classes holds more residents than the entirety of the Wittenberg student body. As interns we were immersed in that busy environment, traveling on the metro to and from work and occupying a very real place in the diversity of the city of Washington, DC.
I would highly recommend anyone with even a slight interest to look into this program, no matter the major. DC and the LCWS program specifically have so much to offer. You can contact Professor Hasecke at firstname.lastname@example.org with more questions and for further information. If you’re schedule is too packed for a semester away from campus, I’d also recommend looking into the summer internship options that LCWS offers.
(Sam Bays / email@example.com)