Washington Semester Program Professor Jeffrey Sosland's class attends guest speaker event at the headquarters of the AFL-CIO.

Stephen Stavrou

Global Economics & Business

February 8, 2018 | I have lived my whole life in Arlington, Virginia - so traveling to DC to see the monuments, museums and for sporting events has been a regular occurrence for my entire life. Even though I have always lived so close to DC, I have never felt like I truly was able to experience the city. Before going to college my friends and I had a conversation where we decided that we had taken for granted the fact that we lived so close to our nation's capital. Many of my friends are studying abroad in foreign countries this semester. I knew that I wanted to have a unique experience in a different environment that would also expand my learning outside of the classroom and when I came across the Washington Semester Program I knew that it was exactly what I was looking for.

The idea of living in DC, interning and taking classes in a different way greatly excited me, however, I had no idea how much I had underestimated just how amazing of a program I was about to undertake. From the first day of my seminar class where Professor Sosland explained how we would not only be learning about international economics and business in the classroom, but that we would also be having multiple guest speakers and class trips, I was hooked. So far, we have traveled to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Newseum and we have had a guest speaker from General Dynamics come and speak to our class. Our two guest speakers greatly enhanced our ability to understand the concepts that we have been discussing in class in greater detail and have been unparalleled opportunities to interact with experts in our field of study. Although I have been to the Newseum before, they have added multiple exhibits that I have never seen such as the FBI exhibit and the Pulitzer prize pictures exhibit which took my breath away.

Washington Semester Program students visit the Newseum as a class.I am currently interning with the National Academy of Public Administration which has been an amazing experience so far. I am currently assisting a project team that has been asked by NASA to do a review of the NASA Advisory Committee. The individuals that I have been able to work with and the experience that I have gained through the tasks that I have assisted with have been very insightful learning experiences and I am very excited for everything to come in the future.

Thus far, my semester has been more than I could ever ask for. I have met amazing people, learned an unbelievable amount and been able to travel to many places in DC that I have never been to before.