Advice for Future TWC Students:

Advice for Future TWC Students:

Here is my top 10 list of advice for future Washing Center students:

1.)    Try to participate in as many events as possible. You only have three months (or fewer) here, so don’t try and “settle in” and take it easy because the time to do things will run out quickly. The more events you attend, on your own or through TWC, the more fulfilled you'll be during your time here. And if you check out different scenes, you will get a better idea of what you want to and, equally as important, what you do not want to do.

2.)    Make a budget. You may hear about the free museums here, but don’t get the wrong idea—DC is not cheap, in any way. You will be spending money on transportation, food, events, happy hours, markets, you name it. Set x amount a week, because if you are anything like me, neglecting to do so will cost you $.

3.)    Try to see at least one new place every week. Granted, some weeks will be packed with work from your internship, TWC and your civic engagement project(s). But even so, try to see a new place every week. This week I plan on going to Rock Creek Park, a national park nearby that I hear is very beautiful.

4.)    Happy Hour: Do it. Great way to meet the people who you work with at your internship site. Some people have Happy Hour this down to a fine science. These people can tell you which place has the 50 cent tacos on Mondays, the place has $1 rail drinks before 7, and the where you can get a buy one get one free deal on hamburgers.

5.)    Be careful with your bike. My bike that I loved and had for over 8 years was stolen my first month here. It was locked up in a closed in parking lot, but someone or some people managed to hop the fence and saw off the chain. When I came to get it back all there was left on the bike rack was a chopped up bike lock. A friend at my internship site had the same thing happen to her. Lesson: buy a u-lock (they are harder to break into) and be very selective with where you put your bike.

6.)    Learn to love your business suit. You will need it for so many things. Get into the habit of dressing formally when going to events at which important people will be in attendance. Sorry to all sweat pants afficionados, but DC is definitely conservative in terms of what people wear. You either conform to the atmosphere or be the weird guy sitting next to diplomats wearing a Metallica t-shirt.

7.)    Cook your own food. Again, if your budget is not infinite, save money any way you can. If you are not a good cook, all the more reason to learn a few recipes. Be creative. I just invented something that I like to call tuna surprise. What is it? No idea.

8.)    Get to know the international students. It is great to have the opportunity to talk to students from  Korea, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Belgium, Russia, Bolivia and more. They are coming overseas to study here and they are very motivated to learn about American culture. With cultural exchanges, everyone wins. And frankly, going to a soccer match with Mexican students is far more exciting than going with Americans.

9.)    Don't waste time. You will always have time after your semester to watch your favorite TV shows, or sleep in on weekends. It is up to you to keep a good pace and high level of energy—you can do it!

10.)    Have fun. You are here to learn, but go out and have fun. Plan trips with your roommates, see that show you’ve been wanting to catch at Kennedy Center, try out a salsa club, a Lebanese restaurant—you’re in the capital, make the most of it.


I hope that this helps!

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