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Make the Most of GW & DC

By baharmahzari

After almost three months at GW, it is time to dedicate one blog post to the University and the Campus itself. One of the reasons I tended towards GW as my first choice for my semester abroad was exactly its great campus location. Right in the heart of down town DC surrounded by Washington’s major monuments, the campus is unique as it is located right in the city. Since I consider myself to be a ‘city person’ more than anything else, one can say that I am truly happy with GW’s infrastructure. There’s much to explore. You wonder what a typical GW student is up to between classes or generally during the weekday on campus? Here are my Top 5 recommendations for a fully lived GW experience:

  1. GW Delicatessen                                                                             N 21st St & N 22nd St, Foggy Bottom (Right on Campus!)

This small Deli has saved my life too many times with its amazing bagels. My favorite is simple – egg, avocado and bacon. Don’t forget to bring cash since this will be the only payment method enabling you to purchase a bit of paradise. I don’t care how many calories this bagel has and, honestly, I don’t even want to know. This will make you happy; especially, if you have morning classes on Mount Vernon and can just quickly stop by before you catch the Vern Express.

GW Delicatessen

  1. Filter Coffeehouse                                                                        N 19th St & N 20th St, Foggy Bottom

Yes, I don’t really like Starbucks and try to avoid it as much as I can. Plus, GelBucks (The Starbucks right at Gelman Library) is always so crammed that it basically takes up my entire break between classes. Filter has tasty coffee and is close to campus. I have the feeling they tried very hard to make it look ‘hipster’ so that it now looks like the most mainstream coffeehouse you’ve ever seen. Doesn’t bother me though. Getting a simple black coffee (Yes, I am one of ‘those’ people) while reading one of many course books makes this place one of my personal hangout locations.

P.S.: It only uses organic & fair-trade products.


  1. GW Talks & Events                                                                  Mostly at the Elliott School

I can’t exactly remember how many debates, talks, book presentations and lectures I have visited, but it has been a lot. And this is probably one of my most favorite things about GW: The vastness of all these events organized. Often the speakers are famous professor, experts or politicians as well as authors or directors. I was able to meet one of my most favorite documentary directors during an event at GW, where she presented her new documentary called “The Aryans”. It was truly amazing. Most GW students make use of this great opportunity to engage in political, economic and cultural discussion outside of the classroom – especially, international affairs and political sciences students. Often food is served at the talks, which is of course a bonus.

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  1. Milken Institute of Public Health                                        Right at Washington Circle

I’m always very picky about my study places. Very picky. Gelman library wasn’t really satisfying, so that I started to search for THE place, which will not only be aesthetically perfect, but also stimulate my thinking process. I found it. The Public Health building right at Washington Circle is amazing. The interior design is new and modern offering many tables as well as cozy armchairs. I recommend the study spaces right next to the huge glass windows, which offer a pretty view on Washington Circle.

  1. The National Mall

Before I found my perfect study place at the Milken Institute of Public Health, I spent most of my time reading journal articles and writing my notes on the lawn of the National Mall – right between the Monument and Lincoln Memorial. It was lovely during the warm days and was also very inspirational. It is not that common to have the opportunity to spend time studying while being surrounded by US history. But also just getting lunch and sitting down with friends somewhere around the various memorials is truly perfect and allows to make the most of DC and GW.



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