By: Simi Kolodka
Hi everyone! My name is Simi Kolodka, I am a fourth year student studying international affairs and Russian. This semester, I had the unique opportunity to study, live, and work full-time in Washington D.C. through the Washington Semester Program. By taking advantage of this experience, I was able to not only complete a 10 week internship with the United States Department of State but to take in-person and online classes that pertain directly to my Russian and foreign policy academic studies! It was a wonderful experience, and I think I can speak for myself, and my entire cohort, when I say that it truly allows you to become immersed in D.C. culture. I was able to take full advantage of all the great networking opportunities, and truly develop an independent lifestyle full of new experiences. One of my favorite non-work related experiences was getting to see Dr. Fauci speak about the importance of public service at a local event! Other students in the program visited the White House (sometimes several times!), in addition to all of the famous museums, galleries, art exhibits, and local parks in D.C. I particularly enjoyed the perks of living in Delta Hall, which is close to not only the U.S. Capitol and National Mall, but is also equidistant to both H street (which hosts interesting festivals, restaurants, and stores) and Eastern Market (which hosts a flea market every weekend!).
From the most senior level officials, to those just starting out, the advice I continually heard focused on the importance of just being (physically) in D.C. The ability to grab a cup of coffee with some of the greatest minds in politics, public policy, national security, and more, is an advantage for each and every inspiring student and I highly recommend the program to anyone even considering a career in D.C! Please reach out to me if you have any questions about the program- you can learn more about it here.