Local Atmosphere

Location
Washington, DC
Undergrads
9,758
Tuition
$47,343
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Student

Local Atmosphere: Best out there. I love DC, I love the people, and the happenings. Dorm parties are too...collegey, and do occur, but give DC a go, go out to a bar when you're of age, and come to DC to experience real-life, both its toughness and its fruit.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: All the amenities of a big city, good public transportation systems. Lots of restaurants and places to go for nightlife. Very expensive cost of living and very little (or very expensive) parking.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Tons of culture - free museums, art, a variety of restaurants

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Amazing atmosphere... that's why I decided to study in DC!

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: DC is a great city for a lot of people, and it has a lot of things to do, not only for students.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

David Glidden
Hometown
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Major
International Affairs (Spanish minor)
View all previous student authors

GW’s location in the Foggy Bottom area of DC gives it a unique flavor with which no other university can compare. With government officials working nearby, the school often seems to blend into the city, but GW’s five-by-six block radius definitely feels like a traditional college campus. The University’s close proximity to bars, clubs, museums, national monuments, sports arenas, and theaters exposes students to the entire cultural experience that is DC. Students call the city an “amazing place,” and most can’t imagine living for four years in a rural environment after spending a day in DC.

 At most college campuses, students hang out on their universities’ quads between classes. Although GW students often toss around Frisbees during the spring and summer, they are also out and about in the District, constantly exploring new things. People interested in the arts can see a Broadway show on tour at the National or Warner Theaters, or they can go to one of the several movie theaters near campus, which show both commercial flicks and independent films. Sports fans can take a quick metro ride to the new Nationals baseball stadium or catch a Wizards game at the Verizon Center, which is also a major concert venue. Another perk of living so close to the monuments are the beautiful nighttime views—there is nothing like watching a breath-taking meteor shower while lying beside the reflecting pool, and you can’t spend four years at GW without hooking up at the monuments (your forefathers would be proud).

 

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Students can attend the presidential inauguration on the National Mall and/or the inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Avenue. Those interested can either stand in the general admissions area or get free tickets, which allow for closer access, by calling their state representatives.
  2. DC's National Cherry Blossom Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators each spring. The 9,000 trees lining the Tidal Basin were a gift to the District from Japan in 1912.
  3. Foggy Bottom, the neighborhood of GW's main campus, is one of the oldest 19th-century neighborhoods in DC and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The name Foggy Bottom is said to be derived from its description by locals as a swampy "bottom land," its low elevation, location near the Potomac River, and collection of industries providing for an atmospheric combination of fog, smoke, and soot.
  4. District residents are fighting to get representation in the Senate and House of Representatives. Although those living in D.C. are taxed, they receive no representation other than a non-voting delegate because they do not technically live in a state.
  5. There are no skyscrapers in DC. Many believe that this is due to a law saying that the Capitol and Washington Monument were to be the tallest buildings in the city, but in fact, it was the city fire department that put limits on building heights in 1894 because their equipment wouldn't be able to reach tall buildings. In 1989, the Height of Buildings Act was passed to ensure that the city skyline wouldn't be dominated by skyscrapers.
Notable Natives
  • Dave Chappelle
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • John Philip Sousa
Local Slang
  • The Hill: Capitol Hill, where several GW students intern
  • The Mall: Not a place to go shopping, the National Mall is home to a variety of monuments and museums
  • The Metro: Washington's subway system
Points of Interest
  • Capitol Building
  • Dupont Circle
  • National Mall
  • National Monuments
  • National Zoo
  • Smithsonian Institute Museums
  • White House
Shopping Centers
  • DC USA retail complex in Columbia Heights
  • Pentagon City Mall
  • The Shops at Georgetown Park
  • Tyson Corner Center
Movie Theaters
AMC Loews Georgetown
3111 K St., NW
Georgetown
(202) 342-6033
Movie Theaters
Regal Gallery Place
701 Seventh St., NW
(202) 393-2121
Major Sports Teams
  • D.C. United: Soccer
  • Washington Capitals: hockey
  • Washington Nationals: baseball
  • Washington Redskins: football
  • Washington Wizards: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Baltimore: MD: 1 hour
  • New York City: NY: 5 hours
  • Philadelphia: PA: 3 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 79 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 79 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 3% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 3% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 95% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 79 responses

  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 30% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 70% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 79 responses

  • 4% No way.
  • 39% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 57% Totally.

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