2021 SpringSemester

Franz Gilbert: Post 3

Franz Gilbert
American University
Washington, D.C. , USA
Spring 2021

From the Hill to the Hill!

There is a month and a half left in the program, and it seems like time is flying by. Every day seems to be a new learning experience.

Wellness Week

It is interesting to learn yet one more way colleges have had to adapt due to COVID-19. American University lengthened the winter break, but was concerned about spring break – and the potential for bringing COVID-19 back to campus. As a result, they implemented Wellness Week. We still have classes during Wellness Week – but no homework is assigned. This allows us to continue classes, still take some downtime to recharge, but also help mitigate the risk of bringing back COVID-19 due to spring break travel. So, points for innovation, but still probably would have enjoyed the spring break!

Global Entry

In looking forward to a time after the Pandemic, I have made sure my passport is 100% up to date. I also enrolled in the Global Entry program – which does a background screening, and then allows you to skip past long passport lines when flying back into the United States. Normally, I would have had to find an airport with a Global Entry Office, but since I am in D.C., the office was literally a few blocks away. The entire process from application to card received and registered was 16 days! For those of you wanting Global Entry, there has never been a better time to apply.


Classes are going well, and I have had the opportunity to listen to several guest lecturers. When at Sydney, I always appreciate listening to our guest speakers. So, having them in class has been entertaining and intriguing. This has allowed me to hear so many different perspectives from world experts. I love the professors at Sydney, and I have thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning from a non-liberal arts point of view.


My internship is continuing to go well, and I am constantly learning. It has been amusing to build a sense of camaraderie with my roommates and the other people in the program. Since most of us work remotely, we have built our sense of an office community.

Seeing the City

As I mentioned in the last blog, there is a group of us that walk around the city in the evenings – and it is still amazing, especially since it is starting to warm up. Just as a side note, all of the national museums are still closed due to the pandemic. The walks are really fun. In fact, just the other night, we were hanging out at the Lincoln Memorial, and Lester Holt was shooting some live spots for the news. Check out the picture of him filming and also one where I asked him for a photo. I think it looks like he is photo bombing me…

Till next time!


Selfie with Lester Holt


Lester Holt filming around DC