Our Matsui Center undergraduate fellows share their unique and transformative experiences in public service, research, and public policy opportunities.
Blogs: IGS Fellows in the World
Every city has a word, and Washington DC’s is policy. No matter what you’re passionate about, there is someone here doing something related to it, and usually in policy. People here know they are making history.
Washington is a very different place than Berkeley. There are things about...Read more about The District Feels Like Home
As I boarded the plane at San Francisco International Airport, my mind was racing with pending uncertainties. Would I like my internship? Would I enjoy living in such a politically charged city? Would I freeze to death? Fortunately, my transition to the DC weather and the city itself was...Read more about Community, Unity, and Respect
The move to D.C was not as smooth as I expected it to be. I’m used to driving 2 hours from the Bay if I’d want to see snow not like here, where I don’t even have to step outside the Washington Center to see a bed of snow. Every time I go grocery shopping, I immediately start to think about...Read more about Getting Out of My Comfort Zone
From previous UCDC students and co-workers I heard that there was a snowstorm for over a week in the Winter of 2016. I could not help but get excited to experience my first snowstorm and potential snow days stuck at home. To the dismay of many students, this year’s “winter” passed by, just...Read more about End of a Chapter
With less than a month left until I return home, I have been doing some reflection on my time in D.C. As a student who grew next door in Oakland, and attended Berkeley City College before transferring to UC Berkeley, UCDC has been my only “away-from-home experience”. I was definitely wary of...Read more about Bursting the Bubble
Being from California my entire life, moving to DC was something I eagerly looked forward to. There were many firsts I would encounter including moving to a city where I did not know anyone. Although I didn’t know what to expect, I have been pleasantly surprised everyday.
The month of...Read more about Pleasant Surprises
My time in DC passed like a blink of an eye. It only seemed like yesterday it was August and now the program is about to end in 2 days. I will admit I’m dreading the end not only because all the wonders in DC I have yet to experience but also, I have two final papers due in 48 hours. I guess...Read more about What's Next?
November 10, 2016. 11:31 AM ET
I can’t even speak right now. It is 2 days after November 8th and I am still in shock. I will not be able to truly come to terms with the fact that a Trump presidency is now our reality until Trump actually leaves office. The past 48 hours has been a...Read more about The Election
For all D.C. lacks in the weather department, it is one of the best cities for museums! As my roommates and I continue to explore the city, it is clear that we live next to some pretty amazing museums and monuments. I’d like to take this post to share a few of my favorite (and unexpected)...Read more about Smithsonian City
As the presidential election gets closer, I’d like to remind everyone to go register to vote! Almost everything is riding on this election. I watched the presidential debate and thoroughly enjoyed the slow deterioration of Donald Trump’s ability to hold his composure for 10 minutes as much as...Read more about Debate Camp
On my way from the airport to the UCDC center, I soon realized that I would be spending this fall semester in a totally different part of the country. Being born and raised in Southern California, the East Coast looks and feels very different. The amount of greenery was almost unnerving. While I...Read more about We're Not in Kansas Anymore
Right after my summer classes ended on August 12th, I jumped straight into finishing The West Wing, starting House of Cards and watching re-runs of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I watched as much political TV shows as my body could handle to properly amp myself up for my semester in DC. I...Read more about Welcome to Wherever You Are
Matt Steven steps to the free-throw line and dribbles a basketball he cannot see. The ball bounces. Once clank. Another clank. A moment later it sails from his hands, hits off the backboard, and bangs...Read more about For Love of the Game: Include People with Disabilities in Sports
As I’m writing this, I’m in Jersey City in a hotel with my family with a perfect view of the Manhattan Skyline. This little vay-cay that I’ve attached to the end of my time in D.C. has made me realize that this program is so much more than just about my own experience – its about opportunity for...Read more about Reflections, Realizations, and Advice
Since my last post, I’ve had the privilege of taking part in some pretty unique and exciting experiences! I visited Japan for nine days as a student ambassador through the Japanese American Citizen’s League (JACL), witnessed DC’s cherry blossoms in peak bloom, listened to Czech Prime Minister...Read more about Looking Forward
Last week was the last week of the program for the UCDC quarter students (basically everyone except for Berkeley, Merced, and the private schools). This just so happened to be the first week in the last three months where the temperatures broke 70°F. That is to say that last week was filled with...Read more about Constantly Transitioning
Networking is one of D.C.’s most widely practiced professional tools, manifesting itself in the form of grandiose dinners, public events, and laid-back happy hours all throughout the city. Theoretically, networking sounds simple: you walk into a room, have your little professional spiel ready,...Read more about Four Tips to Network Without Losing Your Sense of Self
This week at the Department of Education there are four hearing regarding the recently released 2017 budget, as well as acting Secretary John King’s confirmation hearing. Working in the legislative affairs department, this essentially means an incredible amount of preparation and a lot of...Read more about The D.C. Bubble
Five weeks into my DC journey, and I’m still going strong! I’ve learned to work a room at a networking event, strike a balance between my internship and classes, and aimlessly wander around the city without finding myself helplessly lost. Having also recently learned how to adjust to...Read more about Climbing the Social Ladder: What Gets Left Behind?
As I write this, it is now my second official snow day. As a California native who never really ventured to far from home, I must admit this is still all amazingly surprising and surreal, to say the least. The first time I saw snow was last week. I was so shocked I halted in my tracks in awe to...Read more about Uncharted Territory
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