It’s now been one week since landing in Washington, but yet it feels like weeks ago I was boarding the plane at Adelaide Airport. It’s quite surreal to believe that we’re actually in Washington after all the hurdles we’ve had to face travelling with during a pandemic, but I believe those hurdles just make us all the more grateful to finally be here.
This week, most of us officially started our internships. For some of us, that meant different things. Due to the pandemic, some of us are working externally from home while others are in the office. It’s interesting to note the differences in protocols between the various congressional offices, and how that reflects the different political ideologies and current polarisation of American politics. It’s certainly a different political environment in the US compared to Australia.
For those of us in the offices, most of the week has been spent settling in, learning the dynamics of the office and observing the different roles among the staff. On my second day, my supervisor in the office suggested I walk around the congressional buildings on my lunch break and try to get myself to Capitol. I got very lost, but spending my lunch break in the Capitol Rotunda was definitely worth it.
There is certainly still a lot to learn (getting used to the American winter is one of them!), but I already know this will be an incredible six weeks and the experiences I’ll take home with me from Washington will be invaluable.