During my time in Washington I studied at American University’s School of Professional and Extended Studies, focusing on International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy. This was an interesting time to be in D.C., as the Obama administration left office and a more controversial one took the reins. My colleagues and I attended various briefings at embassies and think tanks. We would go to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), The Korean Economics Institute, the Brookings Institute, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and many others. These briefings were mostly televised and gave students an opportunity to network with the D.C. wonks in our field of study. These briefings also presented opportunities for students to pose challenging questions to panelists. The International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy students and I were from Colombia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Rwanda, Egypt, Tunisia and many other countries. The program truly widened the scope of my understanding of the international system, while allowing me to engage in a cultural exchange with students from all over the globe. I took two (4) credit seminars, one (4) credit internship class and internship itself, and one (4) credit research thesis project that involved conducting interviews with professionals and culminated in a 35-50 page paper. I interned all day Monday and Tuesday, and half a day Wednesday. The other half of Wednesday was classes and Thursday and Friday were classes and/or briefings. I interned at the Truman Center for National Policy. In the little spare time I had, I made some great friends and explored the historic parts of D.C. If students wish to get a real taste of the professional world, D.C. is the place to do it. This semester undoubtedly added variables into my geostrategic calculus and the way that I view events and trends that are affecting the international world order.
–Wyatt Scott, April 2017