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Trip to Washington DC

Photograph of a group of politics students outside the White House.

A group of Politics A level students visited Washington DC to supplement their understanding of US Government and Politics. The weather in DC was lovely, cold but bright.

Perhaps the highlight of the trip was a visit to the New York Times’ Washington Bureau to meet with a selection of their journalists and with their bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller. The students heard about the challenges of covering the Trump and Biden presidencies, and this period of divided government, as well as learning about some of the pioneering techniques used by the NYT’s journalists. We met with their White House and Capitol Hill editors who each spent time discussing their careers and taking questions from students. For anyone thinking of a career in journalism or any aspect of media coverage, our visit to the NYT would have been informative and inspiring in equal measure.

As you would expect, the trip took in the major institutions of the federal government – we visited the US Capitol building for a guided tour and visited the House of Representatives and the Senate. We also had the chance to see the US Supreme Court in session, with the nine justices hearing oral arguments. We also did a walking tour of the National Mall (for the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial) and a walk around some of DC’s famous landmarks (White House, FBI building, Department of State to name just a few). Students went to the top of the Washington Monument to get a bird’s eye view of DC.

In addition to these government sites, we were able to visit several notable museums and galleries including the chance to see US History in document form at the National Archives (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights), and a walk through Arlington Cemetery including the tomb of the unknown soldier and the John F Kennedy memorial. Students were given the opportunity to visit one or more of the Smithsonian Museums – some chose Air and Space, some American History, and a few the National Portrait Gallery. We all visited the truly impressive African American History Museum.

More informally, the trip also provided an opportunity to enjoy a variety of American cuisine and an enjoyable basketball game at the Georgetown Hoyas. We ate at a variety of American eateries including &Pizza (a hip Chinatown pizza restaurant), Shake Shack, and iHop to name just a few. The students enjoyed some free time in historic Georgetown.

Further Information

You can find out more about our Politics and related courses using the course directory.

Photograph of a group of students outside the Supreme Court of the United StatesPhotograph of the United States Capitol building