The city and beyond
Two months in D.C. got me thinking that this capital city is very much like the capital of my home country, Ankara, Turkey. The flow of cars, people dressed up in formal wear going to work and leaving work around the same time, monuments and memorials, many government buildings, and offices have evoked the memories of my monotonous year in Ankara. The similar characteristics here made me wonder whether a year here would be more than enough for me to become uninterested in the city as I did during that first year of college in Ankara.
Would it really be the same for D.C.? In fact, not necessarily. The city has a lot to offer: diverse communities, mild weather, cultural activities, varied food scene, accessible parks, easy-to-get-around pattern, many sports activities, multitudinous museums and exhibitions, and so on.
Truth be told, the more time spent here, the more I felt like a true resident of the City of Magnificent Intentions, as coined by Charles Dickens.
I felt like a Washingtonian when…
- I visited the Eastern Market to take in the weekend spirit
- I wandered around Georgetown as a hangout spot
- I tried out random restaurants in Virginia
- I ate a cheap but delicious falafel sandwich at Falafel Inc.
- I joined the outstanding performances at the Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center
- I watched a free theatre “Silent Sky” at Ford’s Theater
- I took a sip from my coffee at the Wharf with Emi
- I spotted the Wave Wall in Georgetown
- I went watching the Wizards several times
The internship and beyond
3, 2, 1, blastoff!
The missions were getting more and more diverse and intense in this organization over time, which awakened the feelings of motivation and commitment in me.
As the internship went on, I happened to know more about the organization, programs the teams. The Global Education Division was full of a myriad of projects, programs, trainings, and many more, including the two programs I was part of—improvement of quality instruction in Lebanon and virtual exchange program connecting students in the United States, Jordan, and Iraq. The time spent between the floors of the office building and between the programs got me to take in the different dynamics, working culture, and requirements of the departments. It was also exciting to see visitors coming for the trainings and exchange programs held in the organization. My favorite moment was when the high school students from Brazil came to present on the issues in their country and their inventions as a solution, which was truly awe-inspiring.
My responsibilities for the programs included evaluation of textbooks, literature review, data entry and organization, content development, facilitation on a learning management platform, lesson planning, etc. Thanks to my supervisor’s constant check-ins and guidance since the beginning of my internship, I felt close to her; she was afar but not apart now.
The nuances of the scope of the work became gradually more interesting for me as the type of task changed each time. Although I was not in the field, I started feeling like a part of the work and community.