Does Washington DC have any cities


The AAA is the American partner organization of the ADAC. With the ADAC membership card, you can get a card in the branch offices with which you can get discounts in certain hotels as well as a lot of really good maps, travel and accommodation material for free. Breakdown assistance is also possible within certain limits. For ADAC members it is also advisable to request the tour set with detailed maps from in Germany.


Amtrak is the US-wide state railroad company. The network is very thin and tickets are quite expensive. The trains are sometimes quite slow, but mostly very comfortable and spacious. There is a good connection e.g. between Washington and New York or Philadelphia.

If you really want to take the train, you should be there early enough and be patient. It is more like flying than traveling by German train ... heavy and large pieces of luggage have to be checked in and there is a restriction on hand luggage. There are also delays ... which can sometimes be as long as two hours! Timetables etc. on the Internet:


There is a $ 3 bus into town from Dulles Airport. Reagan's national airport is accessible by metro. A train leaves from BWI. If you don't want to bother with public transport with your luggage, it is best to take a shared taxi (Supershuttle - there is a counter at the airport, see also the website Here the trip costs around $ 20, but you will be driven to the front door (and picked up from there before your departure). It is not possible to be picked up from the university.

Watch out

Neither man nor woman should go to the South-East at night (and not necessarily during the day). This applies at least to the area well beyond the Eastern Market. All areas of interest (Foggy Bottom, Government District, Georgetown, Adams Morgan) are safe. At Dupont Circle, however, it may be better to be in a group at night. As far as I know, none of our acquaintances had any problems, of course the same applies to Washington as most other large cities - avoid unnecessary risks (lonely streets, walking long distances at night, counting money on the way from ATM to metro) and everything should be clear .


For inexpensive planning of hotel stays, we recommend a visit to the relevant Internet servers:,,, or

A so-called Chinatown bus drives from Chinatown to the Chinatowns of New York and Philadelphia (and Boston?). Quasi the same, only not from Chinatown but from Downtown to Downtown offers from New York to Washington and the other way around, a round trip costs $ 35, travel time is just about 4-6 hours.

An excursion boat leaves the harbor for the George Washington Plantation - The mall (or something like that) is worth a “trip” for shopping - there is also a (quite expensive) shuttle service there (see mall website), of course you can also go by car.

Day trips to Baltimore and Annapolis are nice if you can get there. But even in Washington itself there is more to see than you can do in one semester!

Going out

The main street of Georgetown - lots of bars, there is always something going on. Likewise at Dupont Circle and in Adams Morgan (here also many clubs and discos). My favorite bar: The Tombs, a student bar right at Georgetown University. McFaddens - a bar very close to the GWU, in which many events from the student organizations take place. In addition, it is essential to pay attention to the notices at the law school for various happy hours.

Absolute Law School Treff: Bar Review: Try out different clubs with other students. The bar reviews will be announced on the notices.

DC Café at Dupont Circle - not a café in the strict sense of the word, but perfect for those craving for the club (very good Arabic food and of course burgers etc.)


Not recommended in DC. You can get anywhere by train, bus, bike or on foot.


Burns Library at law school, which can only be accessed with a GWU student ID. Eating is forbidden in the Bib, but unlike Augsburg, drinking is allowed. The opening times are very long, even 24 hours a day before the exams. There are special introductory courses on library use which you can simply register for (but which are not absolutely necessary either). The introductory course on US law also familiarizes you with the bib. Of course you also get passwords for Westlaw and Lexis. User events are then also offered for this purpose. Via Lexis and Westlaw you can print out all cases etc for free at the university (other printing is done with a wireless connection against a charge of 5 cents from the credit of the so-called "Gworld Card", which is also used to pay in the food court).


Depending on the route and time, the metro costs between $ 1.35 and?, Tickets can be used up. The bus costs $ 1.25 regardless of the distance. In the bus you have to pay with the appropriate change, unless you have a smart card, which costs $ 5 and can be topped up with cash or credit card and is also valid for the metro. There are weekly tickets for the bus, which may be worthwhile if you take the bus every day (information at The buses are often not quite on time. When it rains the buses are very full. No student discounts.


Not much is cheap in Washington. But all the Smithsonian Foundation museums are free! Theaters also mostly have student rush tickets or pre-season tickets at low prices, as does the opera. The best way to get information about this is to go to the respective websites.

Events that do not cost anything can be found on the event sites on the Internet, e.g., or or for Smithsonian events


Some are free of charge (e.g. Anzou in Adams Morgan), otherwise mostly around $ 10. ID is always checked (even if you are clearly 30+). Some clubs refuse to let in guests without a passport / American driver's license. Nevertheless, I absolutely advise against taking the passport with a visa with you in the evening (theft, etc.). The normal person usually does it too.


Coupons are an American specialty. Hundreds of them can be found in the weekend editions of the newspapers, with which those who are busy snipping can save money.

Coupon booklets with hotel coupons can be found at the gas stations on the freeways, which can save a few dollars when traveling. (Traveldiscountguide, Travelcouponguide, US Travel Guide).

There is a special student card, with which you get discounts as a student in the whole of the USA. The card costs around $ 20 and you have to redeem a lot of benefits to get that back.

Craigslist is a website with classified ads for homes, cars, bicycles and more for a specific area in the US. Anyone looking for an apartment or a car can try their luck here.


In the supermarket, at CVS (drugstore) etc. it is best to get a club card immediately, as this gives you direct discounts. You should definitely do this, otherwise you will pay more than necessary for a lot!


Local events, concerts, theater etc. see cheap. The best way to do this is to go through the various websites.

Driving license

The international driver's license doesn't do any harm, but it's also not necessary to rent a car (the problem here is the minimum age). Experience has shown that the new European driving licenses are accepted everywhere, as are the old German pink driving licenses. Anyone who buys a car may need a DC driver's license (which in turn requires a Social Security Number) to take out car insurance; but it can also happen that the international one is sufficient. There is no hard and fast rule for this.

For the current requirements for obtaining a driver's license in DC, visit the website of the Department of Transportation and Transit.


Bank of America is the largest bank in the USA with many branches and accepts the Deutsche Bank EC card at no extra charge. There are also no exchange rate losses this way. Anyone who is already at Citibank in Germany can still withdraw their money from a branch here without any extra charge and allegedly receive account statements. This also works if you have two accounts at Etrade USA and DE.

At least last year, it was easy to open an account without a social security number.

EC cards are mostly accepted at all other ATMs (“Automatic Teller Machine - ATM”), but you have to pay a not inconsiderable fee for each withdrawal.

Credit cards (Visa, Eurocard and American Express) are widely accepted and are the most convenient way to spend money. American Express Traveller’s Checks are accepted, but not everywhere and not always. Incidentally, you should inquire about the current conditions at your house bank (Citibank does not charge customers a fee when purchasing).

A transfer system like the one in Europe is not very common in the USA. Cashless money transactions still take place via ordinary checks. However, since it is hardly worthwhile to open an account to receive checks due to the rent or telephone bill due to the short stay, there are the following alternatives:

You can buy a postal money order for $ 0.90 at any post office. The check is covered by paying the amount on which the check is made out at the post office counter. The check that you then receive can be handed over to the recipient in person or sent by post. The same is also possible via Western Union (money order). Western Union can often be found in large supermarkets.


The university has free wireless LAN for students (get the necessary information from the computer help desk). In addition, the computers in the CIP pools have Internet access. With internet access it is also possible to print out at the university. Laptop and internet access (due to the university's personal portal) are actually essential!

There are certainly internet cafes in DC, but thanks to the good supply at the university, you never need them.


In general, it can be said about the courses that the focus of the work is primarily on reading many cases / articles. If you want to manage the given reading workload for the next lesson, you have to reckon with two to three preparation hours per lecture hour. Another difference to German universities is the fact that the professors often call students by name - the quality of the answer is then (to a small extent) included in the grade.

In addition, an attendance list is kept at least in part in the courses.

Every student has to put together his own timetable and is advised on this. Specific questions can also be asked about specific courses, requirements, prerequisites, popularity with foreign students of earlier years, etc.

The Fundamental Issues in the US Legal System course dealt with typical constitutional issues, such as the relationship between states and the federal government, the role of the jury, American fundamental rights, and the right of the government to detain enemy combatants without legal verification - actually a quick run through that entire legal system. The questions were processed using exemplary Supreme Court decisions. The processing of such decisions and the preparation of so-called case briefs takes a relatively long time. A time-saving variant is to get ready-made summaries of the cases from one of the legal search services (Westlaw or Lexis). However, one should not only rely on the finished letters, because in these the focus of the case study is set differently than by the lecturing professor. A second part of the course focused on research and writing; here the preparation of case briefs and memoranda was practiced.

Since the class at the GWU is compulsory for every international law student, the question of a recommendation does not arise. However, the content does not often coincide with the content of the subject-specific foreign language program for law students at German universities.

The Foreign Direct Investment course dealt with the problems a multinational company may encounter when investing in a third country. The focus was on measures by the host country that make it impossible for the company to maintain production. The legal possibilities of the investor on a national and international level were dealt with. The course was very interesting. The professor is a lawyer who mainly drafts investment agreements between states and was therefore an expert in this field. The lecture also included guest lectures by other specialists in the areas of investment agreements and political risk insurance.

I can definitely recommend this course, as it is very practical and links legal and economic problems.

The Federal Income Taxation course was similar to the German tax law elective group. Income tax problems were essentially similar to those in German law; The solutions between the two countries are sometimes very different, but sometimes not at all. What I particularly liked about this course was the professor's commitment. She went to great lengths to explain everything very clearly and to be open to questions at any time. Basically, the course is only recommended for those who have already dealt with German income tax law.

The Law in Cyberspace / Cyberlaw course dealt with various current problems in Internet law. The topics ranged from jurisdiction problems of courts to trademark law to violations of fundamental rights. It was particularly interesting that there is a lot going on in this area and that very different opinions arise on many problems. The course included a little from many different areas of law and is therefore also well suited to get a little insight into different areas of law. In this respect, this course is also recommended.

There is a lot of stress and scaremongering, especially before the exam time. There is not much time to work out the outlines / self-made summaries from lectures and reading assignments that are mandatory in most subjects. But if you have already worked during the semester and have already prepared the material properly, you have enough time to work out an outline without time pressure. Most tests are “open book”, which means that you can take all books, teaching materials and of course the outline with you to the test. However, you usually don't have time to look up much during the exam anyway.

A common variant of the exams are so-called "Take home exams": The students pick up the task and have to hand it in again, e.g. 24 hours later; Like a little housework, so to speak, but not associated with a literature search.

Medical supplies

Thanks to the GW Hospital, excellent medical care is guaranteed. With problems of any kind, I definitely advise you to get an appointment there. However, the costs are very, very high if you do not have a health plan (as a rule you only have a German international health insurance - it is essential to find out which documents are necessary in order to get medical costs back!). The doctor's bill usually has to be paid directly, in cash or by card.

In the case of minor ailments such as headaches or sore throats, the heart of the hypochondriac will open in every drugstore - with an unbelievably large, free choice of drugs, which in Germany require a prescription and are often more expensive.


The Smithsonian Foundation - - runs all of Washington's major museums. They are all free and they are all definitely worth a visit too. However, tickets for the Holocaust Museum must be pre-ordered. Almost all of the museums are on the National Mall. The museums also have great programs such as film screenings and lectures, most of which are also free! Not from the Smithsonian, but definitely worth seeing is the Phllips Collection

Always remember, especially in DC, that metal detectors and x-rays are part of the basic equipment. So leave pocket knives etc. at home!

local public transport

Most can be reached by metro and bus; the last metro from the city runs around midnight during the week and around three on the weekend (Fri and Sat). The first one leaves the final stop at 5 a.m. and is accordingly in the city center. The buses have a night schedule.

official steps

Before the stay really begins, you have to expect a certain amount of effort to get the American student visa J1.After initial communication difficulties, we received the form to be filled out by the American host university, with which you can call the American Consulate General (for number and forms: for a personal appointment as a “visa applicant” via a chargeable hotline Register at consulates in Frankfurt or Berlin. Here you should be prepared for the fact that you may only receive an appointment four to six weeks in the future (so make an appointment if necessary before the documents are there!). The return of the passport, which will be kept at the consulate after the interview, can also take up to two weeks. It is therefore advisable to plan early. The conversation itself is not exciting, after a long wait it usually only lasts a few minutes. Nevertheless, you should definitely have all the required documents and confirmations with you (which ones are up-to-date, it is best to ask when registering for an interview by telephone - you can only rely on the website to a limited extent) with you. When collecting the documents, the English dollar-denominated account balance confirmation can prove to be difficult, in which it must be confirmed that you have enough daily available money in the account to cover the costs of the stay (the required amount is on the form, which one receives from the GWU, noted). Backpacks, bags and cell phones etc. are not allowed to be taken into the consulate in Frankfurt / Berlin and there are no lockers for them in the consulate; therefore it is best to leave all prohibited items in the car / locker at the train station.

Regarding the flight booking, it should be pointed out that it is good to book through a travel agency, especially if you are not sure about the date of the return flight. At travel agencies you can usually change the return flight date afterwards (after consultation when booking) without paying expensive rebooking fees; With internet bookings you usually have to expect a surcharge of up to several hundred euros.

travel Guide

New (2004 edition) and good is the National Geographic Walker for Washington DC. The Vis-a-vis travel guide for Washington is good, but unfortunately only with an old edition. For obvious reasons, the selection of travel guides about Washington is so large that there should be something for everyone!


Fast food - everywhere; the food court at the university consists of fast food restaurants. There are also good restaurants in all price categories; especially for all imaginable nationalities - especially in Adam’s Morgan. For prices, consult your travel guide beforehand or spontaneously consult the map. And as always in the USA: don't forget to tip!

Rules are rules

Anyone who loves rules more than anything will feel very comfortable in the USA. If there is a rule anywhere, it is strictly adhered to and adherence to it is demanded with severe ruthlessness. The law enforcement officers have no discretion. Discussions about the meaning of a rule bring nothing but anger.

When entering the USA you will receive a small white piece of paper in your passport (the so-called I94). Under no circumstances should you lose this slip of paper, as it is the only confirmation that you are legally in the USA. As long as you are in DC, you do not always have to have the original of your passport with you, a copy of the passport (including a copy of the I94) is sufficient.


The university has a very large range of free sports with a gym, swimming pool, etc.


Taxis are everywhere at all times. It is not billed according to distance, but according to defined zones and number of passengers. You pay extra at state borders, so from DC to Virginia etc. The price level is ok.

To phone

Telephoning in the USA: If you want to use a mobile phone from Germany, you need a so-called "tri-band" phone, as Americans use different frequencies. It makes sense to buy a used one at home (hot tip: ebay!) Or in a local store. However, the roaming charges are very high. In addition, however, there are so-called “prepaid cards” that you can call on your phone. You should find out about the current tariffs on site, as these change frequently.

Mobile phone tariffs usually with a number of free minutes per month, often on weekends and evenings, and free of charge for phones from the same provider. It often comes as a nasty surprise as soon as you can see from the bill that the person called pays when talking on the cell phone. One learns to be brief when the parents call on the cell phone.

The prepaid cards are usually cheapest at petrol stations.


There are some good theaters in Washington: e.g. The Ford Theater and two Shakespeare theaters. All of them have special offers for students (student rush tickets or preseason tickets). The Folger Shakespeare Theater is highly recommended. Information at,,


Tips are ALWAYS expected (unless you have just vomited from eating), as the waiters are often paid below the legal minimum wage and then only topped up by the boss if necessary. The minimum is 10%, but it doesn't have to be more than 20%. It is best to double the tax listed individually on the invoice ("double the tax"). You tip a cab driver at least $ 1 unless he is about to rob you. Otherwise, wherever you are served, a tip is expected ("valet parking", porters, etc., but not the bag boy in the supermarket). Most of the time, these staff only live on tips, as they have no or only a minimal basic wage.