Ally KrausInternship: World Service Organization

Gap Ambassador Ally Kraus

November 11, 2019 |  There’s no doubt that taking a gap year is a slightly new concept to many. Internet searches for the words “gap year” have spiked considerably over the past few years. My experience as a gap student is probably even a bit more perplexing to those who see college as a black or white concept. When I say black or white, I am referring to the idea that you either go to college right after high school or you don’t go at all. After I finished high school in June of 2018, I spent the next year focusing on my retail jobs and love for photography. I found this time to be a bit too relaxed, however I also enjoyed learning more about myself and how I like to manage and spend my time. I was able to meet a lot of amazing people and learn a lot of business skills I hope will help me in the future, as I am hoping to major in Business Administration or Marketing.

This fall I began as a gap student at AU. I have found the AU semester gap program to be a perfect bridge from my slower year to the full course load I will be taking next semester. This semester I was able to add academics and an internship to my schedule along with work, hobbies, and relationships. I have found that the time I have been given to learn to balance has made me more productive and motivated. My advice to anyone thinking of taking a gap year or experiencing something new before going to college would be to do it. You are only young once and if you find the right program or opportunity you will become a more developed and self aware person at the same time. You can absolutely find something that will prepare you to be the best student you can be. You may learn how to be more present and learn other perspectives and ideas through the new path you have paved for yourself and chosen to follow. Good luck on your journey!

Blog History

Ally KrausInternship: World Service Organization

Gap Ambassador Ally KrausOctober 21, 2019 |  This post is going to be a little different from my last two. It’s almost midterm season and I’ve noticed sometimes finding myself getting a little unmotivated or just a bit run down. The best ways I have found to remedy this feelings are to take care of myself and my body and then also to do things that I enjoy or are new to me. When it comes to self care, it’s very important to start with the basics, make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating healthy meals and not just fast snacks. This may seem obvious but it’s not always easy to remember until you already have started to feel a bit sluggish from that bag of chips you had for lunch. Second in self care is doing things simply for yourself and making you feel good. I would say this could be anything from playing frisbee, doing a face mask, or doing an enjoyable workout. Try to remember that most if not all your negative and run down feelings will pass with rest and how much support you have from family, friends, peers, and professors at AU. 

I recently have had two enjoyable and fun experiences taking the metro. The first being the time I took the metro and then walked to Thomas Circle to go thrift at Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading. I loved both high end consignment stores and found some really great pieces. They had unique Halloween costumes and some really fuzzy jackets. I also took the metro to the Lincoln Memorial and then had a photo shoot with some friends there. We got some warm drinks and talked about how excited we are for winter. I definitely see D.C. as the city where things are always happening. It’s exciting to be by the monuments or in downtown to see the hustle and bustle and how much magic the city of Washington D.C. actually contains.

Ally KrausInternship: World Service Organization

October 7, 2019 | I finally feel settled here. American University is a place I can call home for now. I have found my favorite options in the dining hall and my favorite off campus options for when I have some money to go out. I have found beautiful and quiet places to study and work on campus. I have learned exactly how the thermostat in my room works and where to get the coldest most refreshing water in my dorm. I have figured out my commutes to class, internship and even the Dupont Circle Farmers Market to get delicious fresh fruit and groceries. I have made wonderful and motivating friends from all around the world. I take pride in being a responsible student and keeping up with my peers on a day to day basis. One of my peers taught me to use Adobe Lightroom, a photo editing software. I have kept practicing with the software. I love bringing my camera around campus and recording shorts videos and taking pictures.

Washington, DC street at duskI am enjoying my internship with World Service Authority. The WSA educates about, promotes and implements human rights, world citizenship, world law and the institutions of law necessary for peaceful relations among humans. Peace, justice, human and environmental rights, and global governance issues are of primary concern to the WSA. I enjoy working with my supervisor to come up with new ideas and projects to promote WSA and help to grow and gain an audience through social media. WSA allows me to use my love for photography and media to make a difference and attempt to change the world. The advice I would give future Gap Year Program students is to stay open minded. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a bubble that won’t allow you to explore all of the incredible internships and opportunities offered in Washington, DC.

American University Gap ambassador Ally Kraus

Ally KrausInternship: World Service Organization

September 23, 2019 | Growing up right over the bridge in Virginia, I was constantly visiting DC as I was growing up. Each day at AU as a gap program student, I am reminded that there is no end to the opportunities you can find here. Our campus is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

AU’s students have a beautiful place to live and take classes. At the same time the easy transportation and support through AU will pretty much allow students to go anywhere in DC and anywhere with their studies. The gap program at AU is so unique because it allows students to immerse themselves in everything AU has to offer.

I wake up each morning motivated by the possibilities and surrounded by students putting their dreams to work. The professors connected with the gap program are truly here to help students succeed and figure out how to use the semester to fulfill their goals. The support and generosity I have felt from my professors is refreshing. They have success in mind for every student, and they realize that success means different things for everyone.

One of my favorite things about being here at AU is the recreational swimming hours. When I first saw the huge pool in Bender Arena I wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to use it. Little did I know there are recreational swimming hours almost everyday. Heading to the pool to swim laps and recharge is one of my favorite activities now. Filling my free time with things I love to do has made being a student much easier.

I am reminded to use my time wisely so that I can spend more time experiencing all that this campus has to offer. I am certain I have not explored everything and I am so excited to see what each new day at AU this semester has to offer if I live with an open mind and stay motivated.