Washington, DC: Global Gateway Summer 2022 (A Day in the Life 2)

Our Global Classroom by Hali J. 

Gregory’s coffee: this coffee shop was right across from our hotel, so we would go there for their amazing coffee and to get our reading done for the seminars.

As much as we miss our journey up Bascom hill and the bustling environment of State Street, we have been introduced to a new way of learning. Here, Washington D.C. has become our classroom. We walk the same streets Martin Luther King marched, the same routes every president learned, and enter museums telling history from the perspectives of the oppressed. And as much as we learn about the past, we also recognize that we are living in history books right now. Every day on our way to class, we pass the capitol and supreme court where we witness protests from opposing sides on different kinds of issues. We enter our classroom to have seminars to critique, question, and simply discuss our readings and experiences with museum visits.

Library of Congress

This new way of learning also allows you to connect with other students on topics you otherwise would not discuss. We have a diverse group of intellectual students where we have the privilege to learn from different perspectives. Not to mention the people we meet outside of the classroom; you don’t need to speak to strangers to understand their stories and how politics and race has impacted their life.

As much as we read, write, or lecture, the best way to learn is through experience. Here are some of our learning experiences in Washington D.C.

The White House




Learning on Excursions by Ricardo T.

When I was first accepted into the Global Gateway Program for Washington DC, I was beyond excited. I’ve never been to Washington DC before so that alone was an exciting learning opportunity and experience. Learning about race and politics in America and being able to relate it back home, Chicago, was very beneficial for me. I learned more about politics that I didn’t know before and was able to relate it back home to my community.

After arriving in DC, we had class the following morning. We were assigned articles to read the night before and some of us had to write a reflection paper about our initial reactions to the articles. We then would go on and discuss certain topics based on the articles. Each day they would be different topics, we got our feet wet in every political issue I would say. 

One day you could be talking about immigration policies, the next could be about Obama’s presidency, and sometimes we would relate the two together like Obama’s policies on immigration. 

After we talked about a certain topic in class, we would go grab lunch, usually at the Whole Foods market or at some restaurant near the location of our field trip. After we grabbed lunch, we would head to our field trip.

The field trip I chose to talk about was the one we took to the White House, which was an amazing experience. To get there, we took the train a few rides until we got off our stop. When we rode the escalator up, we arrived a few blocks away from the white house which was an amazing experience. I was very excited because this was one of the things I was looking forward to while in DC. 

BLM Plaza

We first walked past a few gift shops that we stopped by and shopped at for a little while. Then, we walked down the Black Lives Matter Plaza. It had flags attached to the light poles of names of the people we lost due to police brutality. We walked this BLM Plaza straight to the White House. 

When we arrived, we saw protestors protesting the war and a man playing the cha cha dance. It was very mixed feelings arriving there. It was something that I didn’t expect when arriving. We walked past the protestors and people dancing to the cha cha dance and straight to the fence of the White House. There we took videos, pictures, and a picture of the class. 

This moment meant a lot to me because seeing the White House in person was a feeling that is hard to describe for me. I couldn’t believe that I was a few feet from the president and where he lived. I also got to experience the president arriving in helicopters at the White House the day before when I was next to the George Washington monument which is a moment I’ll never forget.

Overall, I enjoyed this program and would recommend it to all of my friends. The professor touched on certain topics in politics while relating it to the memorials/monuments/and more, gained first hand experience in DC, and got to learn in the real world which to me was the most important. I learned a lot from our field trips and was able to tie it in with the articles we were assigned. I saw protests and politicians walking the streets of DC. It was by far a government, but diverse, city and was amazing to experience it all. 


A “I’ve never thought about that before” moment by Sunny C. 

Coming soon.