By Jija Dutt
Ohio Wesleyan international students experienced one of the quintessential American tourist experiences by visiting Washington, D.C.
Accompanied by Dorota Kendrick and Darrell Albon from the International and Off Campus Programs Office, 35 students spent the first half of spring break in the nation’s capital.
In what turned out to be four days of a packed schedule, including visits to places like, the Udvar Hazy Center, the Vietnam, Lincoln, Jefferson and World War II memorials, the U.S. Capitol, National Archives and a host of other historically significant places, these students seemed to have had the time of their lives during this spring break trip.
“It was an amazing experience,” said senior Yushan Hayman.
“This spring was the first time I went to DC and going with such a large group of friends made it even more fun.”
For junior Priyanka Venkataraman, this trip was very politically and historically enriching.
“We visited a lot of memorable places and the holocaust museum had the biggest impact on me,” she said.
Composed primarily of seniors and juniors, this trip to the nation’s capital proved to be a much needed break for most students.
Venkataraman said it was not the usual social crowd she hangs out with at school but it was still great to be able to interact and spend time with the other international students.
Sponsored entirely by two OWU alumni, Gordon V. Smith ’54 and Helen Smith ‘56, the Washington, D.C. trip is one that both staff and students look forward to ever year.
“My favorite part about the D.C. trip is being able to spend time with the international students and also being able to hear their thoughts and see their reactions on the many different sights we visit in our nation’s capital,” said Kendrick.
Economics and English majors at Ohio Wesleyan respectively, Gordan and Helen Smith are longtime supporters of the university.
Helen Smith is also a life trustee of the university.
The Smiths have been sponsoring the Washington, D.C. trip since 2006.
“We got a chance to meet the Smiths this time,” says Hayman.
“They are very kind people who have traveled all over the world and have many interesting stories,” he said.
Venkataram said the Smiths are the most genuine people she has met through the Ohio Wesleyan community.
“They are so passionate about travel, us international students and our aspirations. It’s obvious that this is a long term passion for them,” she said.
The Smiths also sponsor a trip for a group of international students to New York City over Thanksgiving Break every alternate year.
For students who do not have places to go to over short breaks, trips like Washington, D.C. are always looked forward to.
“I encourage all the international students to try to take advantage of it,” said Hayman.