Spend a semester in Wash­ington, D.C. Hillsdale stu­dents flood the dis­trict during the summer, but too few stu­dents take advantage of the semester-long pro­grams. The Wash­ington-Hillsdale Internship Program and Hillsdale’s new­Study Abroad in D.C. program provide stu­dents with an oppor­tunity to enrich their edu­cation in an impactful city.

I spent the spring 2011 semester par­tic­i­pating in “WHIP.” I can point to few other times in my life during which I expe­ri­enced such growth. It will stretch you. Since you have 16 weeks, you might have a more sub­stantial internship expe­rience than in the summer. This pre­pares you to be an adult, while still insu­lating you from some of the chal­lenges of being com­pletely inde­pendent. The night classes add an intel­lectual element, and rein­force the idea that you’re still pur­suing a liberal arts edu­cation. You don’t have to love pol­itics— D.C. is home to some of the nation’s leading schools, hos­pitals, and com­panies.

The college will now also offer regular classes. Dr. Moreno will teach many of them; that alone should per­suade you. But if it doesn’t, there’s also a vibrant city full of oppor­tunity. Hillsdale friends are more tight-knit than friends at other schools, and stu­dents seem nervous to leave their social life behind. But even­tually, your semesters sort of blur together, and missing one semester out of eight won’t matter much. Your time in D.C., on the other hand, will be very mem­o­rable. Bring a friend along and expe­rience it together.

Double-majoring can make this dif­ficult. Get cre­ative. Talk to the head of your department; pro­fessors are willing to work with you. The Kirby Center can help you. As for financial aid, Hillsdale offers gen­erous help for stu­dents in D.C. The college wants to increase par­tic­i­pation in these pro­grams, and will work with you to overcome whatever stands in your way.

The first step: attend the infor­ma­tional meeting in Lane 125 at 6 p.m. tonight.