Student Blog: Interning at the Canadian Embassy
by Cyle Petersen '10
After safely arriving back in Salisbury after a 9-hour train ride, which gave me lots of time to think about all I had done in the past 2 months, I thought it would be interesting to recap my summer to everyone else. My summer seemed normal while it was happening because it was roughly the same each week, but after leaving I have realized that I would never have had the opportunity to do all the things I did throughout the summer without going to Washington DC and enrolling in The Fund For American Studies at Georgetown University.
The day-to-day activities that never changed during my summer in DC were making the 1-hour commute on the red line metro to the Canadian Embassy downtown near the Capitol, interning from 9-5, and then coming back to Georgetown with 10 minutes to spare and either attending a lecture or a 3-hour class. I also became used to adding an extra 30 minutes to my morning and evening commutes since the June metro crash that killed 9 people. In fact, I was on the red line at the exact time the crash happened and experienced a nearly 2-hour one-way commute back to Georgetown that day.
What was also a pretty routine event for me each week was going out to the many separate and distinct districts in DC and enjoying the free time I did have on the weekends. I loved the city and looked forward to every weekend I had there so I could experience it as a local and find the best restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions. Since my internship was much shorter than almost everyone else I met in DC doing an internship, I was in much more of a hurry to experience the city to its fullest every single weekend.
The events that weren't so typical during my stay in the nation's capital were the many tours, briefings, and hearings I got to take part in. These included...
- The Ambassador of Canada to the United States
- The Head Minister of the Canadian Embassy
- The Minister of Congressional and Legal Affairs at the Canadian Embassy
- The Head Military Deputy at the Canadian Embassy
- The World Bank
- The Federal Reserve
- The Pentagon
- The Capitol Building
- The Library of Congress
- Climate Change Reform
- Transportation Reform
- Health Care Reform
- Provisions in the Economic Stimulus Package
- Middle East Affairs
- Ambassadorial Nominations
- Congressional staffers to discuss issues of interest to Canada
- The head of a US Coalition opposed to Canadian trade practices
- Countless happy hours with 17 of my fellow interns at the Canadian Embassy
- Catered buffet dinner at the Head Minister's private rooftop loft that overlooks the Capitol building
- Washington Nationals game
- Eating at several celebrity restaurants, including those of Wolfgang Puck and Spike from Top Chef
- Being "shot" by one of the cameras filming the upcoming Real World: DC
It seems amazing that I did all of this and more during 8 short weeks in the nation's capital, but remembering how busy I was, I have no trouble believing it. I took advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity and couldn't be happier about how it turned out. Hopefully now I can relax for a couple of weeks until "regular" school starts again at the end of August!