Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter Break: A Misnomer for SAIS Students

Winter Break was a whirlwind, in the best possible way. Like many SAIS students, I took part in a school-sponsored trip between the fall and spring semester. In late December, I departed D.C. for New Delhi, but not before stopping in Amsterdam for five days to visit a college friend. The visit to New Delhi represented the capstone to a fall course that compared the political and economic development of China and India. During our time in Delhi, our cohort met with representatives from think tanks, non-profits, media, academia, the private sector, and India’s national government. Thankfully, our group was comprised of students from different fields of study and work experience, so we each brought our own insights to meetings. When the eight days of site visits concluded, we all visited the Taj Mahal (because we couldn’t not) and went our separate ways for independent travel. I, along with a few other SAISers, chose to spend a few days exploring Mughal forts in Rajasthan before heading home.

As fate (or poor planning) would have it, I landed back in D.C. the morning of Inauguration Day. Unfortunate as the ride home from Dulles airport was, the timing of my return meant that I could participate in the Women’s March the next day. It was a wonderful and overwhelming day, and the spirit of civic engagement has remained throughout the city and here at SAIS.

Unique as my Break may sound, it is hardly exceptional by SAIS standards. During the first week of classes this spring, one could walk through the Nitze building lobby and listen to students chatting about their experiences on a class trip, I-Dev. practicum, or career trek. The range of Winter break experiences is a testament not only to the opportunities offered at SAIS, but also the resourcefulness and passion of SAIS students to make the most of the program.

Ben P.
Student Blogger