Time goes by so fast since I wrote my last blog – I can hardly believe that it´s already March!
I am so grateful for all the experiences I was able to gain in the last weeks and months. Since the beginning of January, I´ve been in Washington DC. For four days all 2022-23 75 German participants in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) came together for the yearly Civic Education Workshop. During these days, we had the chance to learn more about the political system in the US and about the history of the capital. On top of that, it was a great opportunity for us to share experiences with other participants that have been living in different states all over the US for the last 6 months: Which college classes did you take? Did you already start working? And how do you get along with your hosts?
After the workshop, 4 German participants and I got the chance to be part of the selective CBYX Congressional Internship Program and we started a 6-week internship in Congress. I personally have been working in the office of Rep. Juan Vargas from California. By supporting the staff in the office, I learned what everyday life on the Capitol Hill looks like. My daily tasks included replying to constituent mail, answering phone calls, and conducting research on a variety of policy issues. By attending committee hearings and briefings, I got firsthand insights into a whole variety of political topics. In addition to that it is very common to meet other staffers/ interns for a coffee. This way you start building your network on the Hill and you can ask them any questions you would like to. One personal and unexpected highlight was to meet the Vice Chancellor of Germany, Robert Habeck. We were able to arrange a meeting with him where we told him about our experiences in the congressional offices but also about the Congress-Bundestag-Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) in general.
During these 6-weeks the five of us were staying with American host families close to Washington DC. After work, we often explored the city and enjoyed going to bars or restaurants.
I realized what a vibrant city DC is, and we had so much fun getting to know interns from all over the world. Furthermore, it is awesome how many cultural activities DC has to offer. All Smithsonian museums are free, so we took the opportunity to visit as many as possible of them.
In general, I had so many new impressions which I will never forget! I met great people and hopefully I can stay in touch with some of them!
Warm Greetings from Washington DC!
This is the second blog by Sarah Jung. Read the first blog here: Welcome to Las Vegas!