New York University broke ground on its new Washington, D.C. campus on Monday and plans to welcome its first set of students there by the fall of 2012. Up to 150 students per semester will participate in a special program geared toward students with concentrations in economics, history, journalism and politics.

Located in Foggy Bottom on L Street, just a few blocks from The George Washington University and the White House, NYU’s Constance Milstein and Family Academic Center will serve as a “study away” site that will cater to NYU students from the university’s New York City and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates campuses as they live, study and work in Washington, D.C.

While New York City boasts many internship opportunities for students, the new campus in Washington, D.C., will enable NYU students to participate in more of the political internships open to D.C. students.

While some have compared the satellite campus to a study abroad program, the NYU administration disagrees with the comparison.

“We use the term `study away’ instead of `study abroad’ because it is a better reflection of our current reality,” NYU Vice President of Public Affairs John Beckman wrote in an email. “When you have a university with a presence in so many cities, with a network with two portal campuses – one in NYC and one in Abu Dhabi – and with an academic site now in the [United States], `away’ seems a more apt description.”

Beckman said that political internships would be one of the main appeals of the program for students.

“NYU has an extensive internship program in NYC, but just as our location in NY provides enormous opportunities for internships in media, finance, journalism and cultural settings, among others, our center in Washington will provide opportunities for internships related to the federal government and issues of importance on the national agenda,” Beckman wrote.

NYU students echoed Beckman and said that they are excited about this new possibility of gaining experiences they might not have access to in New York in fields directly related to their majors.

“The mix of the political environment of D.C. and the vibrant culture of New York, especially specific to my major or any journalism or government major, would create a dynamic learning environment,” said NYU freshman Christine Choucair, a major in media, culture and communication.”

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