With 300+ CAS students coming into the office and participating in our event this semester, the peer advisors would like to thank everyone for their involvement in this semesters programs. Events this semester such as After Hours in the Perch, the Photo Blog Campaign, Preview Day, Pre-Registration Workshops, RA Registration Workshops in Letts and Anderson, etc, were all such a success and we are excited to continue this momentum next semester!
Good luck on finals and have a warm and safe WINTER BREAK!
Join Marcus Del Rio and Whitney Livingston in the Perch (located on the first floor of Anderson Hall) on November 24th from 8-10pm. If you need any last minute assistance with registration preparation, feel free to stop by the Perch this Sunday! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get ALL of your registration questions answered!
Click the picture above to visit the American University Study Abroad website
“Go to a country where you don’t speak your language and a place that will be far from your normal life in the states.”
I had been set on studying abroad in Australia or Ireland for about a year before I was going to apply, but a month before I received this advice and changed my whole path. This was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
I ended up going to Paris for the semester and despite taking two French classes at AU, knew about two sentences in the language: ‘Bonjour, je m’appelle Whitney’ and ‘Je voudrais un verre du vin rouge’. I also did not know one person in my study abroad group. But it turned out not knowing the language and other people made me take in the culture so much more. I took language classes every day, fell in love with the history of the architecture (mostly Napoleon III, he’s a genius), and have never loved trying new foods so much.
The reason so many people say they “found themselves” abroad is because that distance is one of the only ways to reach such clarity and perspective on your life. I’ve never felt so sure of what I wanted from life than those last few days walking alone down the winding streets of Paris.
So why now? Why when you’re in college? Why not when you’re 30 and need a break? Monetarily wise, most museums and sight-seeing locations are free when you’re under 26. But there’s something else. There’s this aspect of solidarity and amiability among you and other college students that you can’t get at other ages. For example, my friend in the program knew a girl that was invited to this apartment party that had 12 other people from different countries like Ireland, Germany, France, the US and a couple others. I ended up hanging out with one of the Germans a couple times more and we would just go on adventures out in the city. It’s hard to find that at other ages, that desire to discover and bond for no other reason than you are both in this amazing city.
- Whitney Livingston
Click on the picture above to check out the American University Student Activites Website
Due to the wide range of clubs, sports, activities, and associations on campus, it can be extremely overwhelming at first when you’re deciding what you’d like to get involved in on campus. For this reason it’s great to take advantage of the student involvement fairs, which come around every semester. The involvement fairs allow you to put yourself on an email list so that you can constantly be updated with the groups’ most recent meetings or activities while also allowing you to interact with some of the other students who are in the club.
Since the student activity fair only comes around once or twice a semester, it’s also great to do some research on your own while also staying on top of the Today@AU updates. Browsing through Facebook to see what some of your friends are involved in and searching key words with “American University” are both great ways to track down activities that you might be interested in. Another great way to find out more about clubs and activities on campus is to schedule an appointment with your peer advisor during office hours and ask them about their experiences with different activities on campus. By doing this we can help you find activities that are right for you based on your interests and what you’re passionate about.
As a sophomore I can only say great things about the clubs and activities on campus. I’ve witnessed leadership through club meetings, sportsmanship at games, and friendships made through engaging in Greek life. If I’ve learned anything at all from the activities and clubs on campus, this is a great way to not only build connections and relationships, but also to open yourself up to your past or present interests.
Click on the picture above to check out the American University General Education Program Website
While you may have a basic understanding on how the General Education (GenEd) Program works, allow me to break it down for you. The main objective of the GenEd Program is to take ten courses in Five Foundational Areas. In other words, two courses from each of the five Foundational Areas. Each of these Foundational Areas covers a broad area of study such as the Creative Arts (Area 1) and Sciences (Area 5). There are some exceptions to this simple setup. Firstly, you cannot take more than two courses in the same discipline for GenEd credit (for example, you can’t take three GOVT classes to count for your ten total GenEd classes). Secondly, in Area 5 you must take at least one lab science out of the two Area 5 courses. Lastly, you can’t take your Area 5 lab science unless you have fulfilled your University Math Requirement or you have placed above Finite Mathematics (ask your advisor if you are unsure of your placement).
Although this may seem like a lot and you may just want to get started on your major specific classes, I encourage you to explore the offered classes in the GenEd Areas and make it your own unique experience. The wide range of topics can make you academically well-rounded and develop your skills in many different areas.
The General Education Program may appear to be a daunting challenge with its long list of requirements and rules, but the GenEd program can be a very rewarding experience for anyone unsure of their major or simply interested in a wide range of topics. Both of these criteria apply to me, and the GenEd program has helped me both explore new interests and simply gain an introductory understanding of a wide range of topics.
I am the kind of guy with a broad range of interests running the gambit from physics to philosophy. The GenEd program has given me the opportunity to take a Western Philosophy class (Phil-105), a class on Chinese, Japanese and American foreign relations (SIS-255), and a class concerning bizarre and unique writing styles (LIT-105). These are areas I was unable to explore in high school, and I feel more developed since the beginning of my college experience. In order for you to best take advantage of the liberal arts portion of your time at AU, you have to first understand the basic layout of the GenEd Program. So use your first two years at AU to flesh out the GenEd program and discover some new, exciting interests.
- Marcus Del Rio
“It took me a while to find some of the unique areas of DC but once I visited I fell in love with the city. Finding your favorite places could make DC feel like home. You may have seen the monuments by now and maybe tried some restaurants in Tenley or even seen the museums, but in Eastern Market there is an incredible book shop called Capitol Hill Books; they sell used books for great prices and their crammed book shelves create a charming and chaotic atmosphere. Go to the actual Eastern Market Flea Market/Food and Art Market, open Tuesdays through Fridays 7am to 7pm and Saturdays 7 am to 6pm and then Saturdays from 9 to 5, if you haven’t already as well, it is definitely worth it. I would also recommend checking out the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Centre, although it is located in Silver Spring, it has indie films and foreign film showings. This is their website, http://www.afi.com/silver/. There are several other great film venues in DC, including Bethesda Rowe theatre. All of these are a little more out of the way than some of the regular DC hang outs but they have a lot to offer.”
- Elaina Hundley
“While there are plenty of great restaurants in the city and places to visit, what I’ve missed most these past couple years is the nature. It’s great to get out in the city but what many don’t realize is that DC is different from other major cities because there are these hidden paths and parks that make it great to escape the cement covered landscape and constant noises of traffic. A couple of my favorite spots are the dog park (the entrance is on New Mexico and Nebraska–2 blocks from AU), the running path (walking away from AU the entrance is off of Massachusetts, past the Berks on the left), and lastly Rock Creek Park (accessible by bus or bike). I always feel refreshed afterwards and it definitely makes for a good study break!”
- Whitney Livingston
“I have found DC to an incredibly fun city to explore and enjoy since I arrived last year. Some key highlights of the city for me include Adams Morgan and Eastern Market. Adams Morgan has just a plethora of exotic restaurants, interesting stores and a few tattoo parlors for those that are interested. Eastern Market is a large farmers market on the Orange Line where you can get quite possible the most incredible Cuban sandwich along with a bunch of other things. So take advantage of this great city and find your own favorite places!”
- Marcus Del Rio
“One of the main reasons I was so attracted to American University when I was a senior in high school was because of the awesome city life. Living in such a historical city, students are usually eager to explore the exhibits and galleries (Smithsonian’s). While this is a great option for something to do on a weekend, it’s not all DC has to offer. I encourage students to look into the smaller events that are going on all around the city. Some of the things I’ve really enjoyed doing have been going to the DC farmers markets (fresh chocolate croissants are a MUST), walking around and exploring Dupont’s restaurant scene (just be sure to check prices $$ before you go!), the annual cherry blossom festival, and checking out the embassies (Embassy Open House Tour in the Spring). Feel free to ask your peer advisors for even MORE awesome things to do in this incredible city by scheduling an appointment with us or sending us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!”
- Emily Cea