The DC Experience: 
shape your journey

About the house About the neighborhood

DC has a life outside of being the capital of the US government, one we love to share with our students. Here you'll meet your cross cultural requirement by engaging the city and everything it has to offer. 

The District of Columbia has been an incubator for social movements. It was the cultural and political heartbeat of the Black experience for much of the 20th century and is often referred to as Chocolate City. It has also become a home to many Central Americans who left their home countries during civil wars in the 1980s and more recently in the 2010s. In fact, DC's population is 15% foreign born. It's a neighborhood oriented city with each boasting its own history, public art, restaurants, libraries, festivals, and non-profit organizations. It's walkable, bikeable, and even hikeable. There's a surprising amount of greenspace, including the convergence of two rivers and 32 miles of trails in Rock Creek Park. We'll spend orientation getting you comfortable with navigating and even comfortable getting lost. There is always a friendly local to help and an opportunity to notice something unique you haven't before.

Navigate public transportation
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Navigate public transportation


The Nelson Good House

WCSC garden

In 2006, WCSC moved to a new home located in the residential Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC.  The house is remodeled to fit the needs of the program and promote a communal atmosphere.

The house is designed for up to 15 students and has 5,000 square feet of finished space including a full modern kitchen, nine bedrooms, five bathrooms, dining and living room areas, and a versatile multi-purpose room for program courses, recreation, and guest lodging. Program offices are also located on the ground floor. The house is accessible, and has a bus stop directly in front that can take you to the metro station.

The house also includes:

  • Two washers/dryers
  • Energy-efficient heating and air conditioning
  • Two house bikes
  • Four parking space
  • A printer, wifi, and other academic support resources
  • A fully stocked kitchen
  • A pingpong table, piano, board games and other recreation
  • A backyard and patio

Our Neighborhood

Metro with Brookland sign in background

  • Depending on who you talk to, the neighborhood is called different things. Long time residents sayTurkey Thicket, named after the recreationcenter down the street. The city government would probably classify it as Michigan Park. Many people across the city would know it by the closest metro- Brookland. 
  • There is a bus stop in front of the WCSC house. The Brookland metro station is a ten minute walk away. It is on the Red line.
  • The neighborhood is sort of a religious center of DC, including the National Basilica and the Franciscan Monastery, home to beautiful gardens. Chances are you'll see our neighbors from up the road, the friars, walking down the alley next to the house. It is also home to the Catholic University of America (CUA).
  • The neighborhood is in the Northeast quadrant of DC. It's quiet and residential with many single detached homes and duplexes. It's home to many families and is one of the last neighborhoods resisting gentrification.
  • Students generally drive to Aldi or Giant which is in the neighborhood over. The closest grocery store is Yes! Organic. It's part of a chain of grocery stores in the region. There is a CVS in walking distance as well.
  • There are two areas with restaurants in the neighborhood- the history 12th street corridor with restaurants like Masala Story and Taco City. In the recent development near CUA, you'll find Busboys and Poets and Brookland Pint.
Directions to the WCSC
Location perks:
  • Good public transportation access, reducing dependence on cars
  • Intercultural setting in a diverse residential neighborhood
  • Walking distance to restaurants, shops, an organic grocery store, and a public recreational center with free swimming pool access for WCSC students
  • In-town location with easy connections to most internships and universities and to DC’s cultural centers, including ethnically diverse neighborhoods

About Nelson Good

The new facility was dedicated to Nelson Good (EMU ’68, Sociology), whose involvement with WCSC is legendary. Founder of the program, he was the director for many years and returned to the program as a member of the advisory board. When former directors Kimberly Schmidt and Doug Hertzler began talking about the current house’s limitations, their vision for an expanded facility and their worries about the current real estate market, Nelson came to them saying that this was a nut he would like to crack.

As he was providing voluntary leadership for the project – from finding the building to gathering the architectural and construction teams, to working with the development office – he was diagnosed with cancer. Nelson passed away in the months before the new facility’s dedication.

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