Franz Gilbert: Post 1

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

I arrived in Washington, DC on Tuesday January 12th. Since then, I have moved into my apartment, met my three roommates, and sat through many hours of orientation meetings before the weekend. The number one take away I have gotten from my short time in DC is that this city is in unprecedented times. I have talked to several natives of the city and even they are in awe over the almost Martial Law-like qualities of this city. My apartment building got new doormen last night. Their uniform is not what you would expect. They are wearing military fatigues and carrying an assault rifle and sleep in their cargo truck at the front of the building. I am used to having an RA at Sydney, but I feel this is next level. My roommates are really nice guys from more northern liberal arts schools. It has been very entertaining to compare the liberal arts culture of Sydney to other small private liberal arts colleges. I do not start classes until next Tuesday and have been preparing for them. One class instructor sent a 38-page syllabus and I have to take a quiz on the syllabus. Looking at all the course previews, I am excited to start the classes and get to know my professors.

National guardsmen outside of student housing in D.C.

Overall, I am extremely excited to be in the city and take advantage of this amazing program. I was able to walk the city yesterday and truly experience this metropolitan environment. Since my last visit to Washington, the city seems somewhat foreign to me. There are 16 other students experiencing living in DC and attending American University with me. My classmates now seem to have their own respective internships and it has been awesome to talk at night and compare our companies. Even though I am only a sophomore, it has been an amazing and surreal experience already! I look forward to the next few weeks and writing these introspective papers to track my experience in DC.