How to be a tourist 101

How to be a tourist 101

When you get to D.C. make sure to spend a little quality time with your monuments and historic buildings. If you're going to be a good little tourist in D.C. it won't be difficult because around every corner is a monument. If you've never been you can't help but be impressed by the majestic quality of the city. It's one of the most beautiful and more importantly cleanest cities I've ever been to. My car is filthy in comparison to the D.C Metro, I even have difficulty finding wads of gum stuck to the bottom of the seats which is nothing short of awe-inspiring. It's also a very  open and spacious city. Columns, marble staircases, and huge statues make it quite the shout-out to Greek and Roman architecture. While you waltz around its fun to realize the historic quality of the city you will be living in. It certainly adds some character to your time here. Especially when you get to relax on the Lincoln memorial steps, or spend an afternoon reading on the National Mall.

The U.S. Capital Building

This week I paid homage to my duties as a tourist and took a tour of the Capitol building along with some other kids on the program. But it didn't help me bond with the dear old building quite as well as watching the Memorial Day celebration concert on the Capitol steps. The highlight was definitely seeing B.B. King play a few songs. But there are other ways to get to know the sites too. Depending on where you live, you might be quite close to the Library of Congress and that is a pretty neat place to do your homework.

The Library of Congress

Being such a big fan of art, I'd say that looking up free events hosted by Museums is a great idea. You might find yourself in the courtyard of the National Gallery after hours listening to an amazing concert pianist or listening to a free lecture; either way, it's a lot of fun.

Now I don't want to be misleading or sound like a commercial for D.C because that won't really help you prepare for your time here. At The Washington Center you're here to get work experience and take a class, etc. So by the end of the day you're going to be tired and probably even want to go to bed at 10:00. It's not always fun free events and city-roaming. In fact, you're going to be at work most days. But exploring this city is one of the most interesting parts of the program because when you do get free time or a weekend it's never a dull moment. If you can manage to walk around without withering into a dehydrated raisin in this D.C. heat you're going to find something to do. So three things are pretty important for "down time"...1. Manage your time well because you will want to have fun 2. Look up D.C. events and choose an option 3. Carry a water bottle.

While envisioning D.C. feast your eyes upon the best of what ipod photography can provide because you will probably see some sites like these...

The U.S. Supreme Court

Equestrian General Statues (very popular here in D.C.)

Museums!

Concluding my shameful advertisement for this city, hopefully, this will help prepare you for the lucky tourist you will become. The Washington Center has made the transition to this city quite comfortable because there is a lot of support.  Often you are going to be aware of important happenings in the city from your program advisor, RA, or professor. This allows you to have lots of options during your time here. So when filling out your application or thinking about what your time here will be like its important to realize your experience is going to be very well-rounded. You will have classes, your internship, and equally as important the city itself to explore.

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