Monthly Archives: January 2015

A Busy Week in DC

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By carlyfisher4

The week that has just past has been an incredible, albeit an insanely busy, week filled with orientation activities, moving into our dorms, numerous trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond and the opportunity to meet a whole new group of friends made up of people from all over the world, as well as some GW students. Consequently, this has been the first moment I have had to sit all week and so I thought this would be a perfect time to reflect on my first week here in DC, and then of course to share it with you!

Since arriving a week ago, I have definitely been trying my best to get the lay of the land – and to get used to some changes between DC and Sydney, namely the cold! Arriving for the second day of orientation activities in ankle deep snow was certainly something that I realized I would quickly need to adapt to. Then later being evacuated due to a fire alarm, also in said snow, was something that really was beyond my range of weather familiarity. However, after my absolutely necessary investment in snow boots, I feel I have tackled the snow adjustment as best as possible.

Snowy Day in DC

Snowy Day in DC

Another major change has been moving into a dorm shared with four other girls. In Sydney it is rather unusual to move out of home, especially for college, and therefore this is my first on-campus/dorm experience, and also the first time I have ever shared a room in my life…or lived in a house of five people for that matter. Whilst this could have required a major adjustment or felt really uncomfortable or strange, I have been so incredibly lucky and have absolutely lovely roommates who I cannot wait to get to know even better throughout the semester.

Apart from a lesson in how to deal with the cold and live with others, this week has definitely taught me a lot more about what to expect throughout the semester and how to make the most out of my time here – so thanks Study Abroad office!

I guess really the highlight of the week has been meeting so many new people and starting to really get comfortable with life here! My best friend from Sydney and I were actually both assigned together to GW so I walked in on Monday knowing someone but also knowing that we were both so keen to make new friends and share experiences with them too. The Australians seem to make up a relatively significant percentage of the exchange student cohort this semester and so we were immediately attracted to each other, keen to find out what schools and cities we had all come from.

As well as us Aussies, we have students here from almost every corner of the globe and I have really enjoyed getting to know people from countries all around the world and learning elements of their culture from them – some of these conversations have been really enlightening as I have yet to visit the countries from which they are from, and others have been really fun to share my experiences with natives from a country in which I was a ‘foreigner.’

Meeting Martha

Meeting Martha the Hippo!

Alice (Italian) and I before the Capitol Tour

Alice (Italian) and I before the Capitol Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting to know everyone throughout the week was really enjoyable – especially because we had the opportunity to both meet in a more formal or educational environment, as well as in a more social capacity. As well as that, this group provides us all with friends eager to partake in many of the same things we are during our time here – for example, touring DC and travelling on weekends. In fact, again courtesy of the Orientation week planned by the Study Abroad Office, we have already begun exploring the city and some of the monuments and museums it has to offer. One of the highlights of this week was definitely the group tour that we took around the Capitol – especially because we had an amazing tour guide whose knowledge and interest in the Capitol was immediately engaging.

Capitol Tour!

Capitol Tour!

Despite the construction currently underway on the dome and within Rotunda, the artwork and sculptures were beautiful and seeing the original home of government, even with some of the structural elements and artifacts from before the attack by the British, was definitely exciting – especially for the history-lover within me. Particularly interesting was the unquestionable yet gradual development in who could be featured within the Capitol building and seeing the bust of Martin Luther King Jnr and the statute of Rosa Parks certainly acted as a reminder of the progression that has occurred and a reminder of the changes that are still required. It certainly was inspiring hearing the stories of some of those featured within the Capitol however, even more so was the fact that it was immediately noticeable that, although in the past perhaps only the contribution of white men was considered significant enough to deserve recognition in the form of representation, the presence of women and those of other races was finally recognized equally. Unquestionably, for me, that tour was the stand-out activity of the week.

Meeting all the Exo leaders too was really fantastic! Having been in their position in Sydney before, it was definitely different to be on the receiving end, however, all of the leaders were fantastic and so easy to quickly befriend! As all of our first GW friends, they definitely made a good impression :).

Me, Nick (ExO Leader, Madeline, and Sophie (Right to left)

Me, Nick (ExO Leader, Madeline, and Sophie (Right to left)

On our final orientation day we were instructed to go and see an assigned place that perhaps we wouldn’t otherwise see during our time here. My group received the national postal museum which, although we were initially disappointed to get (sorry!), we actually had some fun at. There were definitely some stamps with interesting heritage and history and I found myself particularly interested in the pieces of mail that had survived atrocities such as the sinking of the Titanic, the San Francisco earthquake, and in particular, mail retrieved from the rubble at Ground Zero.

Making our own stamp at the postal museum!

Making our own stamp at the postal museum!

With some time to spare before meeting our group’s Exo leaders, we made the decision as a group (we were placed into small groups at the beginning of the week and so it was with that group that we were sent to our various locations) to visit Walmart, justifying it as an important American experience (and more than anything, an essential stop for those bits and pieces that we still needed to set up our dorms efficiently). Our official Orientation activities concluded with lunch, for my group at Busboys and Poets in Chinatown, with our Exo leaders, Chao and Erin. It has been really great getting to know this small group so well over the last week, and especially to get to know people from the group at large.

To finish off my first week here in DC, two of the other Australian girls and myself went to brunch on Sunday morning, followed by a Georgetown stroll and shopping expedition. DC is such a gorgeous city and although my leg muscles are undeniably feeling the pain of my desire to explore despite a lack of car (I’m so used to driving everywhere in Sydney!), I cannot wait to continue to see as much as possible.

It’s been a fantastic first week here and now, if you’ll excuse me, my roommates and I must continue to decorate our new home.

Until next time…

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Meant to be!

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By ilakes2015

Hi readers! I’m ilanit, a student from University of Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I’ll be attending GWU in the spring semester of 2015. I’m currently getting a Bachelor of Business Economics and I’ll be starting my senior year in beautiful Washington, DC. I’ve had been dreaming of this opportunity since I visited the United States four years ago. I’m happy to share my experience with you so you can, somehow, become part of my dream.

By the time I expected to receive GW’s acceptance letter I began to worry and to feel that everything I wanted was slowly slipping through my fingers. This was actually my second time applying to GW; while I had been accepted the first time, personal issues had not allowed me to travel. As a result, this was my second and final chance to live my own version of the American dream, but all of a sudden, it looked unlikely. I have always believed that things happen for a reason, for better or for worse, and this belief gave me a general resignation for the capriciousness of life (a helpful philosophy, I would add, when coming from a country with a major financial crises every decade). But then, one day, the email arrived. The sensation I felt was indescribable: a mix of joy and fear while tears rolled down my cheeks. I wanted to scream and laugh and tell everyone the good news. This time I would not let the opportunity go.
But then I still had to convince GW. I had to send essays with the reasons I wanted to attend, but I didn’t really know where to start. I was of course drawn to the idea of living on campus, making new friends, sharing my own culture and learn from new ones. It was not only because I would explore the diversity of people and ideas that the world has to offer, but moreover, because I wanted to become part of this house, of this community, of this family: our own Buff and Blue House.

Learning in the museums, reliving the history of this nation in your memorials, and exploring America’s society in Georgetown (with a necessary stop for cupcakes) represent what I have been dreaming for so long. GW is my a reminder that second chances exist; that opportunities depend on how much you fight for something as much as how much you want it. Clearly 2015 will be a spectacular year: I can’t wait to walk the GW halls and call this place, home.

Traveling, Making Connections, Creating Memories, Living in the Present

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By train1110

First of all, I cannot express enough how delighted I was when I was notified that I have been selected as a blogger for GWU. Yet at the same time, having to write blog posts every week for a whole semester? For a clumsy, forgetful person like me, it would have been a lie if I said I didn’t feel any pressure or nervousness at all. Still, on top of all these mixture of feelings, I can clearly say that I am very excited and highly motivated to do this, for writing has always been one of my most beloved hobbies and traveling around new places gives me the best pleasure! 🙂

-Profile-
Dayeon (Agnes) Chang (1994.11.10)
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Language Capability
: Korean, English, Chinese, Spanish
Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004794216440

 2013. Yonsei University (my home institution) / Major: Political Science and International Studies
           Internship at Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies
 2014. 8. Learned Spanish in Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City (by taking one-semester break off from my school)
  2015. 1 Exchange student in George Washington University, Washington D.C.

 

Welcome to the blog of travel lover 🙂


“The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.”: A quote from my favorite author Paulo Coelho, from my favorite book ‘The Alchemist’.
  

Throughout my life I’ve always lived in the future; wanting things, setting goals, imagining myself crowned with the laurel of victory. Present has been moments of patience. It was Coelho who taught me how to love my present: the gift of time.

So now I’m loving and enjoying my world more. I enjoy wondering around, which makes me a travel-holic. I have already been to quite a lot of countries, Asia, Europe, North and South America, still always curious about places yet to be visited. For this reason, I’m interested in learning new languages and making acquaintances with new people. I love books and movies, regardless of any genre, and writing short essays. My greatest hobby is playing piano, which I have played for nearly 13 years. I like listening to music, especially of classic and jazz, for they provide me with ample piano music scores. Warm hazelnut latte with fudgy, deep chocolaty brownie always cheers me up, even from the mood when I feel like committing suicide. I adore rainy or snowy days, handwritten letters, red roses and raccoons. There’s frankly nothing that I hate much.

Wisdom, wit, deep understanding and knowledge about my major, wide common sense, deep friendship and love, broadmindedness, happiness and smiley face are what I strive to achieve. Sometimes I am a little clumsy, careless, and full of mistakes. Well, dreams and reality can be different. Every moment is cherishable, and I will try to make the most of it!
 

-2015 Spring in GWU, Expectations and Hopes-
When I realized I had been admitted as an exchange student to GWU, I nearly jumped with joy. The capital of United States, hub of international politics and diplomacy, a city full of liveliness and culture, Washington D.C. was the city I was aspiring to visit. As an icing on the cake, a semester in GWU, a prestigious school especially famous for my major, international relations, I just couldn’t wait to study there. However, getting to know and befriend marvelous students at GWU, creating unforgettable memories together kept my spirits up for the most part. Let’s make our hopes into reality, together in GWU!