A weekend trip to Washington, D.C.


by Dardanë Halimi


SUMMARY: Dardanë, an international grad student, and her friends enjoyed a weekend in Washington, D.C. The trip was a refreshing break from their academic routines.

As an international graduate student, stepping outside the familiar surroundings of Harrisonburg for a trip to Washington, D.C., was a refreshing break from the academic routine. I went on this trip with three friends for a few days during fall break. The trip turned out to be a mix of fun and learning, with some amazing moments. D.C. Blog

On the first night, we visited the Georgetown Waterfront, where we enjoyed a breathtaking sunset over the Potomac River. The stunning view and peaceful atmosphere provided a perfect moment to bond with friends and appreciate nature. 

We explored iconic landmarks near the White House the next day. We walked around the Washington Monument, Capitol Hill, and the National World War II Memorial along the National Mall. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History also was a captivating experience. Every place we visited provided valuable insights into the country's history, culture, and scientific achievements. As we explored the stories and exhibits, I understood how crucial these institutions are for preserving our shared heritage.

We were also excited to visit the Smithsonian National Zoo. We really could not wait to see all the cool animals up close, especially the famous pandas. As we got closer to the zoo, our excitement kept building, and I felt a rush of excitement when I saw the pandas for the first time; they were shy and spent most of their time eating bamboo. We spent around 20 minutes observing them. Also, despite my fear of reptiles, I challenged myself to view many of them, and it turned out to be exciting but still a bit scary. The elephants were pretty amazing too! I appreciated the chance to learn more about the importance of wildlife conservation, which ultimately contributes to the health of our planet's delicate ecosystems. Georgetown

We reached the peak of our exploration at the Lincoln Memorial, a monument that not only testifies to history but also serves as a strong educational symbol. The memorial's grandeur and historical significance made a lasting impact on our understanding of the nation's past. Standing there, we felt awe, respect, and a deep connection to the events that shaped this country. 

As we wrapped up our trip, we had to explore Georgetown. We wandered through the historic streets, admired the architecture, and found small and cute shops that added a local touch to our adventure. To end our visit, we drank some delicious coffee, cherishing the moments and reflecting on the enriching experiences in D.C. 

This trip was more than just ticking off tourist spots—it was a source of energy, a chance to connect with friends, and a reminder of the importance of taking breaks during the demanding academic journey. It really was an unforgettable first trip in the U.S.

Dardane reflects on her first semester.


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Published: Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Last Updated: Friday, December 15, 2023

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