Global Economics & Business
April 8th, 2019 |
Thank you so much for those who have been reading my stories. The weather is getting warmer finally! Everything seemed frozen and I thought this day would never come to D.C. One of the phrases that I have used a lot this semester is “Tempus Fugit”, which means that time flies in Latin. After spring break, in a blink of eye, we are in April now. There are so many things that I still want to do and have to do in D.C., but time doesn’t wait for me. For those who are interested in doing WSP in any semester in your university life, I would like to share what I have felt since the semester started and some lessons I learned.
First, the Washington Semester Program is truly a one and only experience. In doing this program you experience a great amount of autonomy and are able to become immersed into what you truly are interested in. Other than that, I have learned the most important lesson that I will forever keep in my mind: to be pro-active and to be confident every moment. At my internship site and in-class activities, I have been trying to find something more than what is assigned to me. By doing so, I have achieved more and found this very rewarding. When you’re in D.C., you should be proactive as there are so many things happening in this capital of the world. So many conferences, think tank seminars and meetings. Everything’s up to you and how you interact with it all.
The second lesson, to be confident in every moment, is what I learned as an international student in the United States. In the beginning I was hesitant to express how I really felt or my opinions, because I was not born or raised in the states and it seemed as though I knew nothing about the topics people were discussing. But, in retrospect, this feeling was the same for everyone in the program. This feeling also occurred at my internship site. I made a few mistakes but after some time I was able to explicitly communicate my thoughts and actions. This resulted in more effective communication with my boss and we understood each other better.
I strongly recommend doing WSP in spring because now that the Cherry Blossom trees have bloomed, I am again in love with the city. Even my Japanese friend said that Cherry Blossoms here are prettier than the ones in Japan. Everyone comes from all over the world just to enjoy the Cherry Blossom festival. I am so blessed and happy that I had an opportunity to experience this.
Though I still have a month left, and no one knows what’s going to happen, so far it has been a very unique experience where I have been able to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to my workplace. And thanks to the experiences that I have had here, I know more about myself than I did before. I am thankful for everyone and I am hoping to come back to DC to give some advice as a WSP alumna. Thank you so much everyone and I wish you all good luck!
Global Economics & Business
March 25th, 2019 |
First, thank you so much for taking time to read my blog, everyone who’s out there!
March came and finally the midterm season came around as well, which meant that we’re more than half of our way to the end of this semester! It is unbelievable that I enjoyed being in DC so much, busy with seminars and work, that I didn’t even realize time flew so fast.
While everyone was planning to leave DC during spring break, I decided to make the most of my time left in this city. Spring break sounded like a good opportunity to escape from reality and relax outside the city, however, I didn’t go anywhere other than the surrounding metro area. Over the break I decided to participate in a conference and some meetings about Food Safety Regulations and Economic Analysis, which are related to my academic training, seminar courses and my major. There I was able to learn and inform myself what’s going on in this field today. Because there are so many federal agencies and research institutions, there are so many conferences and forums going on and, luckily, I was able to be a part of it and learn more about Food Safety Policy and Economic Analysis. I am so thankful that I am in D.C..
Some of my friends escaped to the southern part of the US or other countries where they could enjoy the sunny weather. However, in DC, the weather was more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (FYI, 20 Celsius degree). As you can see in the picture, I went to a park with my friend and we tried to concentrate on doing our assignments. I cannot wait to see cherry-blossoms bloom in DC, which will be within a few weeks.
In addition, I went night monumenting, which is a very DC thing to do. Last semester, I used to do this at least once every two weeks, however, the weather in DC was so harsh during the winter. I was finally able to do this with a friend, Feras, who’s an exchange student on my floor in the dorms. We were talking in the lounge of our floor and decided that we should not let this opportunity go away. I strongly recommend you all who read this to go night monumenting if you haven’t done it in DC. Happiness does not come when you try to find it. It is around us when you truly enjoy and concentrate on what you’re doing.
Being in DC for more than 6 months I have found my favorite place, the Waterfront in Georgetown. I love being by myself and sometimes I go out alone with earphones. This might be common for all domestic and international WSP students. Sometimes I miss my family a lot. It’s been more than 8 months since the last time I saw them. Whenever this feeling comes to mind, I try not to be in my room or around the campus. I try to go out to some places alone. The Waterfront in Georgetown always consoles me.
Global Economics & Business
March 13th, 2019 |
During seminar classes, we are visiting a lot of places in DC. Recently, I read a book called ‘Flash Boys’ by Michael Lewis for my Global Entrepreneurship and Business (GEB) class. It is about high-frequency trade and how the stock market changed around 2008. I had no prior knowledge about the stock market before 2008. After reading this book and watching the movie about the same topic ‘Too Big To Fail’ I was able to see the big picture. Though I cannot say that I am knowledgeable about this area, I am learning more and informing myself about this. We also had a guest speaker from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(FDIC). Every time we go to a site-visit or have a guest-speaker, I wonder at how Professor Sosland is able to teach us by showing us how we can relate what we learn from class to what we experience outside of the classroom. I have never experienced this type of education but I can certainly say that it is very helpful to understand how things are going in this global world.
Other than that, there was one of the biggest events held by AU:Founder’s Ball 2019 last Saturday. Since last semester, one of my three roommates with whom I still share my room has been telling me that there is an annual event held by AU and that AU rents one museum in downtown DC and it is a very fancy event. According to my roommate and several students that I met, getting admission is really competitive but somehow my friends and I managed to get the tickets. In the past, AU would host the event at a museum in DC, but this time it was in Virginia. There were a lot of shuttle buses so we didn’t have to worry about anything. As this was my first official party, I had been quite anxious and excited to be there. There was even a DJ and this party was much fancier than I thought, and I truly enjoyed my time with my friends. Who would be able to experience a party in a museum surrounded by a bunch of airplanes?
In addition, I am getting used to my work at my internship site. Every morning I arrive, do my work, have lunch and go back to campus. But sometimes I do something exciting after my work. I meet up with my classmate and we try to go to every popular place in downtown. The other day, I met Yoobin from my class and we went to a Cherry Blossom popup store, which only opens during the cherry blossoms festival period. Moreover, if you’re over 21, there are a lot of offers for special drinks. Even if you’re not over 21, don’t worry about it. There are a number of items that you can enjoy without alcohol and usually the food is extremely tasty. I hope everyone who visits DC to do WSP utilizes happy hour events after work.
So, See you on next blog everyone!
Global Economics & Business
February 25, 2019 | It’s been two weeks since I wrote my first blog, but it feels like more than a month has passed by, and I know exactly why I feel like this. There have been so many things I’ve done in DC, even though I was already here for a semester in the Fall. I am not only re-visiting landmarks in DC with new friends but learning to look at them with different points of view as well. For example, I visited Capitol Hill last semester and took a guided tour more than 3 times. When I was told we would visit for class, I was worried it was going to be a waste of time and boring to me. However, in the Washington Semester Program, where DC is your actual classroom, you always learn more and more. Every tour guide in Capitol Hill delivers tailored tours, focusing on specific points, so this tour was a great opportunity for me to learn more about American politics and Ex-presidents. I look forward to visiting more landmarks and monuments with my class.
I am also learning skills that I did not expect to learn. In addition to my regular responsibilities at my internship site, I complete Human Resources related work, marketing, and am tasked with creating a marketing video. As a non-native English speaker, I had no idea that business English is slightly different from what I use in daily life. Not only am I learning from my supervisor, who kindly explains the differences between colloquial and formal English in e-mail and business situations, but also from a book that Professor Sosland recommended to our class, ‘HBR Guide to Better Business Writing’. Did you know that in a business setting you must place a colon instead of comma after the recipient’s name in the first line of an email?
I love how my professors and internship supervisor are giving me a great deal of autonomy in my studies, as back in my home country this is not very common. This is substantially important to me because by doing so, I am learning to organize my time and schedule.
On February 9th, I visited Alexandria, VA with an exchange student at AU and another WSP Global Economics and Business concentration classmate. I had heard that the old-town area in Alexandria was a precious place to visit. Although it is 30 minutes away from the downtown DC area, the price level is quite comparable to the center of D.C. The atmosphere, however, is totally different from downtown DC. Old-town Alexandria is bigger, and the buildings are older than the historic ones in Georgetown. The day before I went to Alexandria, my internship supervisor, who is a resident of the area, advised me on how to enjoy Alexandria the most. Following her advice, we took a trolley from the metro, visited the waterfront and strolled around King Street. Had we known that it was going to be that cold, we might have put off our day-trip to Alexandria. King Street, which is full of multiple shops from antiques to bookstores and outlets, was attractive enough to make me forget the cold weather.
Some are saying that I have adapted to America so well that it seems that I don’t miss my home. Of course, I do! There are some moments that I become nostalgic and miss my family and friends but thinking about what I will do the rest of time in DC makes me forget the sadness and allows me to enjoy my time here, because I don’t know if I will be back in the future.
Global Economics & Business
February 13th, 2019 | The sun is out and the temperature has risen to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. As an international student, getting used to so-called American culture and systems is not easy when you first arrive here. For example, adjusting to the American metric system and using Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. However, after spending a few months in DC, I can now comfortably convert Celsius into Fahrenheit.
Hello, everyone! My name is Hyeseung and I’m from South Korea. I’m a new WSP ambassador student who will be writing several more blog posts over the course of the semester. My major is Economics and my concentration this semester is Global Economics and Business. I’m taking seminars in Economic Policy and Global Entrepreneurship and Business. I am also interested in Hispanic and Spanish Studies and have studied abroad in Spain.
My first experiences in DC began last Fall. Prior to the start of the Spring semester, I studied in American University’s Abroad at AU program. This was one of the hardest periods in my life. The classroom culture was totally different from my experiences in Korea, so I had to try very hard to get out of my comfort zone. In addition, there were an innumerable amount of assignments.
After a stressful semester, I traveled to Spain and Scotland during the winter vacation to see family and reset. I remember when I was waiting for my flight to DC for the first time last summer, the security process was way more intense than what I expected and I was afraid, surrounded by a bunch of American people. I had never experienced this before in my life. However, when I returned to DC after my winter break, the experience was very different. I was more relaxed, spoke with people in the airport and could not wait to go back to my room and catch up with my roommate. I felt like I was going back to my home and I imagined how I would feel after spending another 4 months in DC, participating in the Washington Semester Program.
DC is not like New York; this is the city that sleeps. However, once you get used to it, it can become an amazing home for you. One might think that it would be boring to live here, however, living in DC is such a privilege. Although the recent government shutdown limited a few activities at the beginning of the semester, there were still tons of exciting things to do. This precious city is full of adventures and places to visit.
One of those places is the United States Botanic Garden. The U.S. Botanic garden has 10 rooms full of foreign and domestic plants. I enjoy nature and places like this allow me to keep close to it while living in a city. I’ve also visited a walking trail in Cathedral Heights with my best friend who’s studying abroad at AU from Japan. The trail was full of snow and my friend and I spotted some deer. This experience was precious and I look forward to going back when it the weather gets warmer.
As classes have started, I have had a chance to visit the World Bank with my classmates. I love how my WSP classmates actively participate in the class, are open to learning more about each other and show enthusiasm in the topics we study. I cannot wait to learn from my classmates, share my opinions and communicate with them this semester.
My posting has just begun, so this is not the end. Keep following my blog to learn more about what goes on in this wonderful city with its wonderful people.