One of the most exciting and unique things about Washington, DC is that it is truly an in International City. DC isn’t just the seat of the U.S. government, but is home to many international organizations and foreign embassies. The city attracts people from around the world seeking to work in the fields of diplomacy, international monetary policy and business.
When you walk the streets of DC you are likely to hear several languages being spoken around you, see multiple national flags flying, and smell the aromas wafting out of a diverse selection of restaurants with food from around the world.
Washington is home to more than 175 foreign embassies, residences, chanceries and diplomatic missions. Many embassies are housed in beautiful historic buildings along “Embassy Row,” located near the Dupont Circle neighborhood of DC.
While many embassies employ mainly citizens of their own countries, most also hire a few Americans to fill positions such as congressional liaisons and communications staff. Embassies often provide internship opportunities to American students with the appropriate language skills or area of study. Participation in cultural events, policy briefings and educational seminars sponsored by these foreign institutions provide another avenue for international involvement.
International Affairs Organizations
Washington’s reputation as a global hub has attracted over 400 international associations and approximately 1,000 internationally owned companies. Two of the most well known organizations involved in international business activity, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, are headquartered in DC.
The World Bank offers financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Its main mission is to reduce global poverty through sustained development. It has more than 9,000 employees in more than 100 offices worldwide.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is comprised of 188 member countries who work to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty around the world.
The IMF and World Bank work closely together, figuratively and literally, to accomplish their missions. Located across the street from one another in DC’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, they are cornerstone institutions in DC.
You don’t have to travel around the globe to get a taste of international flavor. The restaurants and festivals that are offered year round in Washington allow visitors and residents to experience global culture without leaving the city.
DC has an extremely eclectic and vibrant restaurant scene that offers something for every palate. Authentic African, European, Asian and South American cuisines are all readily available throughout the area. Some of the most popular options include Ethiopian, Moroccan, German, French, Spanish, Brazilian, Japanese and Thai, just to name a few.
International festivals are a common occurrence in the nation’s capital as well. These festivals offer a glimpse into the traditions of many countries and add to DC’s diverse cultural scene.
A few examples are:
- Bastille Day
- DC Caribbean Carnival
- Festa Italiana
- Fiesta DC
- Greek Festival
- International Film Festival
- National Cherry Blossom Festival
- Smithsonian Folklife Festival
- Russian Winter Festival