Diversity & Inclusion Fly-in Program at George Washington University (11/09-11/10/17)

Thursday November 9th, 2017

GW (George Washington University) has always been on my college list, and to be frank, I did not really know why. I knew I had put it on there because it was located in DC and offered International Relations. But other than that, it just took up space. While researching other programs, I discovered the ‘amazingness’ that is fly-in or fly-away programs at universities. Fly-in programs give students the opportunity to thoroughly explore and get to know a university. (Typically these students are underrepresented on their college campus.) While scrolling through a list, I came across GW. And, I was excited to see their application was still open– although the deadline was in three days. I filled out the application, wrote the essay, and the following week I received an email affirming my acceptance to the program– with all expenses paid. I was ecstatic.

I flew independently to GW, but this was nothing new to me. I had flown alone to Seattle because of NSLI-Y as well as to DC previously due to my position as a NSLI-Y Alumni Representative; therefore, I was not nervous about the flying aspect … just the “Will I like this school or will I forever not know where I want to go to college” aspect.

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O’Hare International Airport –> Reagan National Airport

I arrived with a couple other students on the program around 4 pm-ish. Luckily, I immediately met my roommate Payton and our friendship formed just as quick. We met our student host Ana as we took a taxi from the Reagan National Airport to the Marvin center– a building on campus. We dropped off our luggage in the room we would be eating dinner in– Continental Ballroom– and then had Ana show us around campus a little bit. We also got to take a quick jog down to see the White House. Last time when I was in DC (Jan 2017), the front of the White House was closed and so this was my first time being able to see it from the front. First Observation: It was smaller than I expected.

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Afterwards, we had a delicious dinner. The mashed potatoes were to die for! And the chocolate cake for dessert… let’s just say I took two slices! XD

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I finally got to see the true nature of the GW students when the director said that you could go back to the buffet for second helpings, all the student hosts ran up to the buffet with their Ziploc bags and plastic sandwich containers. It was hilarious.

After dinner, there was a student performance showcase where we got to see a lot of organizations on campus, in their element, showing off their talents.

We watched a few A Capella groups such as the Troopadors (Co-ed) and The Sirens (All Girls) who sang some really great renditions of songs such as Toxic, Crazy, Praying, It’s Raining Men, and Somebody to Love. We got to hear GW’s band play the Fight Song and other classics like One Direction’s You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful XD There was also a performance by GW’s K District (Kpop Dance Group) and Raas (Indian Dance Group), and some performances by Spotify artists like Blink and Plantain Poppy.

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Group Photo of everyone that was a part of Your GW (prospective applicants as well as student hosts)

After the performances, we went to the MSSC (Multicultural Student Services Center) on campus and had some Hot Chocolate while meeting with the director and other students who who just chill in the lounges. Once Payton, Ana, and I were equipped with our cup of hot chocolate, we went out to see as many monuments as possible. (I had seen them all during my last trip to DC, but I love walking around DC so the exploration was much appreciated). We left the bigger group around midnight because we were so exhausted and headed back to Ana’s Dorm. She showed us a tour of her floor and we got to meet some of her roommates. She lived with 5 other roommates so the room was quite full but also spacious. Not only that, but they had their own private bathroom and full-sized fridge. It was all pretty neat! Payton and I both slept on the floor, but honestly, it was not all that bad.

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Payton and I at the Lincoln Memorial


Friday November 10th, 2017

We woke up bright and early for breakfast in the same building. Once again there was a buffet with a TON of food: scrambled eggs, waffles, bagels, fruit, bacon, french toast, and potatoes (Southern… I think?) And like expected, GW students ran to the buffet when second helpings were called with all of their containers.

After filling my belly with the best potatoes ever, it was time for a campus tour of Foggy Bottom (the name of the campus). We had an official tour guide and a student who was training to be a tour guide take us around campus to see some important buildings, statues, and places. They also explained the food plan for freshman and I loved it! So, GW does not have any dining halls. Instead, you get points on your ID card. These points can be used at local restaurants and grocery stores, so you can eat out or buy food to cook at home in your dorm. I thought that this was pretty food. You literally have control what you eat and you do not have to be in a routine if you do not want to.

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Ready for a tour of GW!

 

Then, we watched this really great documentary that was truly eye-opening. The documentary was called “Hands Up” and it was directed by Zinhle Essamuah. The majority of the documentary was filmed in Ferguson Missouri and focused on the Black Lives Matter Movement. It was beautifully filmed and tragically sad. What a great piece. (We also ate lunch during the viewing.)

The last two events of the day were visiting the MSSC once again and getting to ask questions to some regional admission officers from GW. The visit to the MSSC involved getting more information on how it supports students, and we also participated in these activities called “round tables” which were very similar to icebreakers. We did a bingo sheet, a discussion on our future fears, and a discussion of “Where are you from?” and “Where are you from from?” The question session was not too helpful. We read through a GW application– but they refused to tell us if the individual got in or not (Then how was that supposed to help us?). I also already knew most of the answers from my extensive research on the college admission process through YouTube, mostly.

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And that was my fly-in experience at GW (Nov 2017)!~ It was a really fun experience, and it truly made me  love GW and DC, in general. GW is the best! Who knows… I could possibly end up here!

  • Emma 엠마
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