A statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. People walk and take pictures around it.

Washington, DC, that’s not studying abroad, right? When thinking of studying abroad, classic cities like Florence, Paris, or London may come to mind. NYU students continue to go as far as Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, Sydney, and Buenos Aires. One city that seems more foreign than most, sometimes, is Washington, DC. The capital of the United States, at times, acts as the center of the world, and NYU students can take full advantage by studying away at NYU Washington, DC.

Why DC?

Students who want to live for a semester in the geopolitical center of the world need only hop on Amtrak and travel three hours from New York City. NYU may be located in the city that never sleeps, but Washington, DC, provides a different kind of electricity than New York. NYU students get a feel for election cycles, political activism, and global exchange in DC. There are over 175 embassies in Washington, and some international students choose to intern at their country’s embassy in DC for a semester. If you are American, you can still get embassy experience⁠—on Halloween, DC locals go trick-or-treating at the embassies, collecting candy from all around the world. You might even shake hands with an ambassador.

Regardless of your politics or the administration during your time in Washington, NYU’s Washington, DC, global academic center is different from most other college programs in the capital. At NYU, our DC center brings together students from Stern, Liberal Studies, Gallatin, CAS, and more. The campus is interdisciplinary. The location is ideal. Expanding one’s network is effortless. Therefore, NYU Washington, DC, provides an excellent study away option.

Why Not Go Abroad?

Going to NYU Washington, DC, may not be studying “abroad“ for most, but it is for some. International students attending NYU have the opportunity to study in New York City as well as a semester or two in Washington, DC. These are two unique and critical American cities. For an American student, spending a semester in DC can be perfectly complimented by another semester outside of the United States. This would allow for a truly comparative experience, living in the American capital followed by a major city in another country.

When thinking about study abroad, NYU Washington, DC, should be at the top of your list. Living in DC allows for a global experience without a plane ride from New York. You may hear French in a bakery, Amharic in a cab, or Mandarin on the Metro. Like New York City, the world meets in Washington. Unlike New York, however, policy reigns in DC. NYU students can intern at the U.S. Department of State or work for their U.S. senator or congressperson. Think tanks and political campaigns thirst for bright students from schools like NYU. One semester working and learning in the nation’s capital could not be more worth it. DC provides the real-world, harsh truth and a surprisingly optimistic experience that NYU students looking to make a difference in the world deserve.


What If I Am Not Interested in Politics?

The District of Columbia may be the seat of the U.S. government, but more happens in Washington than politics. DC is the birthplace of go-go music. You will probably only find “mambo sauce” in this part of the country. Going for a jog means making the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial your backdrop. The architecture, people, and culture of DC prove that there is so much more happening in this city than what CNN has to show us.

Aside from politics, NYU Washington, DC, offers courses in anthropology, business, environmental science, journalism, and metropolitan studies. Students of all majors are welcome. Above all, Washington is where people come to make change. Social justice, arts, and athletic organizations are headquartered in Washington, DC. NYU students get to experience this culture firsthand. Urban planning students can walk to the National Mall and learn how L’Enfant planned the city of Washington. History students can visit Arlington National Cemetery, pay their respects, and comprehend the incredible toll that war takes on a country. Public health students can visit the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where policymakers and scientists have come together to tackle some of the world’s greatest health crises. Regardless of your area of study, Washington is waiting.

Joe Savino is an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at NYU. A native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx, Joe loves getting out of the city and traveling to new places. He recruits prospective NYU students far away from home in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Pakistan. Joe is also a graduate student in NYU Steinhardt studying Higher Education & Student Affairs. If he’s not reading applications or writing a paper, Joe is planning his next trip to a US National Park in hopes of visiting all 61 throughout the country.