Endless Opportunities in D.C. | The Washington Center

Endless Opportunities in D.C.

Yesterday, I took the midterm exam for my evening course and realized that half of my time here in Washington D.C. has passed. This halfway point in a program is always strange, since you start counting down instead of counting up. After the excitement surrounding the Fourth of July and my personal stress from the midterm died down, I took some time to look back at the first half of my time in D.C., as well look toward the remaining half and beyond.


I have absolutely loved my time here. Having studied abroad and done a full-time internship in Brussels, I must say that the time I spent appreciating and adjusting to a different culture in Brussels was spent diving into my internship and putting in my entire effort here in D.C. Now, don’t get me wrong—Brussels was a very colorful experience that allowed me to appreciate new things. If Brussels was about going horizontally, you could say D.C. is about going deeper, vertically. At this point, I can’t say I would do anything differently, but I can most definitely point out two of my favorite things I've experienced during the first half of my time here in D.C. (other than my internship, of course).


Korean Security Conference

A couple weeks ago, there was a day-long conference regarding the security issues facing the Korean Peninsula. As a South Korean citizen and someone very interested in security issues, I signed up for the event and asked my supervisor for a day off to go to this event. As I expected, he was very supportive and told me to enjoy it. And I most definitely did.


The conference was a four-part panel that focused on political, economic, security and human rights issues on the Korean Peninsula. The panelists presented their papers, and then guests commented on these findings, opening up a dialogue for larger conversation regarding the issues and solutions to the politics regarding the Korean Peninsula. The medley of debates and interactions that took place regarding China’s role in the Korean Peninsula—such as prerequisites to reunification of the two Koreas and deployment of THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) as a defense mechanism—was the most engaging conversations I had ever heard and had.


Being able to attend a conference focused on topics that I was extremely interested in and already had prior knowledge of was one of the most memorable parts of my Washington, D.C. experience so far. The amazing thing about D.C. is that it’s such an international city, where so many things happen all at once. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you can find events on just about anything. This event definitely reinforced my passion for the topic and allowed me to meet actual professionals in the field to introduce myself and set up informational interviews.


Food, Festivities and Friends

What is life without friends? Some of my favorite memories so far have been made at Jazz in the Garden, which takes place at the Sculpture Garden Pavilion Café every Friday afternoon. My friends and I meet here to listen to good jazz concerts while hanging out in the grass and then going to dinner together afterwards. It’s a great place to have a relaxing afternoon after your Professional Track sessions on Fridays.


Courtesy of Washington D.C. Jazz Network


Some of my other favorite times have been going to a coffee shop with friends and just studying or reading (I like low-energy activities, as you can see). Close to TWC's Residential & Academic Facility is A Baked Joint, a great place to study for hours on end; they have a great selection of food and coffee to keep you refreshed when you need that study break. A few other places that are relatively close to the RAF and I've heard great things about are:


Chinatown Coffee Co. - 475 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Compass Coffee - 1535 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Ebenezers Coffeehouse - 201 F St NE, Washington, DC 20002

La Colombe - 900 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Maketto - 1351 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Sidamo - 417 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002







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