The UW Global Gateway in Washington, D.C. Program

Sydney Hendricks Blog Post 8/24

After first hearing about the UW Global Gateway in Washington, D.C. program, I was intrigued, but didn’t quite know what to expect. As I began to research the program more in depth, I knew immediately that I was going to apply. It was the perfect opportunity for me as a student considering my interest in political science. There is truly no better place to study race and politics than the nation’s capital, one of the most powerful cities in the world. My interest was piqued due to a course on civil rights I had  previously taken at UW-Madison, as well as events that had unfolded within the past  year, including the murder of George Floyd. There were many uncertainties heading  into the program due to COVID. However, I knew that the experience would still offer many valuable opportunities and an insight into the political culture here in the United  States. I was confident that my study away experience would be impactful due to the engaging course material and opportunity to work alongside Professor Canon and fellow UW-Madison students. This program has been incredibly rewarding and has given invaluable insight that I otherwise would not have obtained.  

I’ve been able to explore many of my academic and professional interests while on this trip. One of my biggest goals heading into the program was to truly be able to engage with the course content and physically see how our legal system impacts people differently. There is something drastically different between reading a textbook  and going on tours and hearing from speakers who are knowledgeable about this nation’s history. It has been a privilege to be able to work alongside Professor Canon and other  likeminded individuals. The UW Global Gateway program has been a highlight of my time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison so far. This has been a very engaging curriculum and the seminar style is highly beneficial to our course content. I’ve been very fortunate and couldn’t be happier with the way everything has turned out. This has been a very pivotal experience in my education this far and it has pushed my way of  thinking.  

While my ambitions of attending law school and beginning a career in D.C. haven’t changed, this experience has made me consider other various opportunities that the district and a J.D. degree can provide. I’ve been drawn towards government work for some time now, so having witnessed a small glimpse of what it entails has only reaffirmed my interest in this line of work. Being able to observe some of the efforts that go into government is exciting and makes me enthusiastic to pursue my career.  Although I’m most interested in the criminal and national security aspects of law, this program has opened my eyes to all the different organs of government that often go unnoticed. There are countless career opportunities, even outside of the government.  When thinking of D.C., it’s hard not to picture some form of government, however, there is much more to the district than that. I’ve learned of many issues affecting the community and our nation as a whole, which has helped further my passion for law and government. I’m excited to bring this information back to campus and continue pursuing  my education.