Washington, DC Experience
An Annual Trip to the Nation's Capitol
Mercyhurst University’s faculty and administration firmly believe that an undergraduate education is greatly enhanced by study abroad or domestic travel experiences. These experiences make the lessons learned in the classroom more meaningful, and they teach other lessons that simply cannot be taught by professors.
The Department of Political Science strongly encourages all of its students to participate in study abroad programs, alternative terms or to travel. To this end, members of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political Science honors society, organizes the DC Experience. Each spring, approximately two dozen political science majors or minors and one or two members of the faculty travel to Washington, DC. Although we usually arrive before the cherry blossoms, there is plenty to see.
During the four day and three night trip students typically tour the Capitol or White House, visit the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, tour the monuments, and visit places like Arlington National Cemetery or Mount Vernon. When they are not participating in a group tour, students use their time to meet with representatives from DC-area graduate or law schools, visit museums, or experience Georgetown.
Among the many highlights of the DC Experience are our dinners, where we have the opportunity to catch-up with a few of the many Mercyhurst graduates working in DC. Well-known DC-area restaurants, like Old Ebbits Grill or Hawk and Dove, provide a wonderful atmosphere for current students to learn about working in DC from people who are actually doing it. Whether a student has an interest in a career with the CIA, the House of Representatives, a US Senator, a member of the US House, the Secret Service, a lobbying firm, defense contractor, or any number of other DC-area employers, it is likely that he or she can arrange a meeting with a graduate of Mercyhurst University who has that very career.
The DC Experience is open to all political science majors and minors, and the cost for transportation and lodging has yet to exceed $90 per person (for four days and three nights!).