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Colgate Washington Study Group: A Great Off-Campus Experience Right On The East Coast


By Bryan Dewan '17 on March 9, 2016
Colgate Washington Study Group

Photo via Caitlin Giligan ’17

If you’re a prospective student, you’re probably thinking about attending a school that offers a superior off-campus study experience.  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  Colgate is nationally recognized for its off-campus study programs, with almost two-thirds of our students participating in a semester-long program during their time at Colgate.  It’s true, Colgate’s off-campus study programs are awesome, and there’s something here for everyone.  Colgate sponsors more than twenty Colgate Study Groups, which are academic programs led by our own professors.  Want to study history in London, or international relations in Geneva, Switzerland among your peers?  You can do that at Colgate.  If you can’t find a study group that interests you, we also have more than 110 approved programs to choose from.  Want to study geology in Turkey?  I have a friend who did that.  Want to study politics in Scotland?  I have a friend doing that as I type this post.  Even if you aren’t able or interested in committing to a full semester off-campus, one of our many extended study options can provide you with the global education that you’re looking for.

But what if you don’t want to go abroad for your study abroad?  Well, Colgate has that covered, too.  While we have a few options for domestic programs, I’d like to take a few moments to highlight the virtues of the program that I am on now, the Colgate Washington Study Group – oldest of its kind in the nation.  Started in 1935, the Colgate Washington Study Group has established an esteemed reputation as one of the finest of such programs in the country.  Since the group has been around for so long, and since our students are given the tools to thrive wherever they go, we’re able to make the most out of our experience and do things many other students wouldn’t normally have the chance to do.

The nuts and bolts of the program include three rigorous political science seminars and a nearly full-time internship, for which you receive course credit.  As the program guide states, this provides for total immersion into the Washington political life.  We learn about government in class, then apply our knowledge in the real world of D.C. This year, my colleagues secured some pretty impressive internships.  My friends are working on Capitol Hill, in the State Department, in NGOs, for the SEC, and even the Supreme Court clerk’s office.  Colgate Washington Study Group students often find summer internships or even first job offers through these study group internships.

Besides class and work, you might be wondering what else goes on here.  Between touring to the White House situation room with a Colgate alumna who works for Barack Obama, to meeting Julian Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in a local coffee shop, I can confirm that a lot of cool things go on here.  Only in Washington can you walk out of class and see John Kasich on the sidewalk, or catch a metro ride with a CNN reporter.  Only in Washington can you have lunch with one of Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy advisers.  Only in Washington does Al Sharpton come to visit your office.  Only in Washington can you grab Shake Shack in Union Station after class…but I digress.

I’m writing this post from D.C. At the moment, it’s nearing 9 o’clock on this Thursday evening.  You’ve heard some of the highlights from the past two months, but what did I do today?  Well, I woke up at 6:30 AM, took the metro to my internship at the Center for American Progress (CAP), and met up with a group of interns to prepare for a morning of Capitol Hill lobbying.  Our group visited members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to express our concern about filling the Supreme Court vacancy.  After that, I returned to CAP and wrote an article for a news website with eight million unique monthly visitors.  For the same website, I worked the Supreme Court beat the day before, reporting on the Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt case before the court.

If this sounds like a great experience, check out the Washington Study Group, or any of Colgate’s great options, on our Off-Campus Study website.  Colgate has provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime.  I invite you to come visit campus to learn more about where your Colgate education can take you!


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