Cash in new alumni status, take advantage of networks and perks

Media Credit: Graeme Sloan | Contributing Photo Editor

Alumni programs that offer perks like trips, clubs and discounts allow graduates to get more out of GW even after they walk across the stage.

With graduation a week away, seniors can soon call themselves alumni.

But your college experience isn’t limited to four years, and there are ways to get more out of GW even after you walk across the stage. Whether you want to travel, volunteer or stay connected with classmates, there are alumni benefits to take advantage of during your years outside of Foggy Bottom.

For the volunteer

If you want to give back to current students after leaving the University, there’s an easy way to get involved while also scoring a free dinner for yourself.

The Dinner with Alumni program gives alumni the chance to dine with current students and help them network for future jobs and internships. Held year-round, dinners are often organized and hosted with another alumnus and a group of students who sign up for the event. Students who attend the dinner can ask questions to the host about experiences at school and their journey post-graduation.

While reminiscing on their college years and career paths, alumni can also get a look at what life is now like for students.

For the traveler

With hundreds of options for study abroad programs, alumni are bound to be jet setters. But your travel experiences don’t have to stop after graduation, because the alumni travel program offers year-round trips to top destinations around the globe.

International trips in 2019 include a two-week expedition from Argentina to Antarctica, an eight-night educational exchange in Havana and a weeklong tour through Russia. Opting to travel through these programs means you can embark alone and meet new people from your alma mater or plan to travel with your closest college friends on the same trip.

Priced from around $3,000 to $10,000, the alumni program organizes housing and transportation, so you don’t have to spend weeks checking Expedia to take a memorable trip.

For the bookworm

Now that you don’t have to read for your studies, you can read for fun in a virtual book club for free through the University.

Every two months, the group reads one book that focuses on professional development that can help you in the workplace while connecting you with other alumni.

The group is completely remote as chat sessions about the book are held online. You may even want to branch out and dive into new books with the fellow alumni you meet from the club.

To get a head start on tapping into this benefit, start reading the current book selection, “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity” by David Allen.

For the saver

After graduating from the University, you’ll have to give up student discounts. Luckily, there are a few alumni discounts you can utilize to lessen the blow.

For GW alumni, Zipcar’s application is free and rather than paying a $70 annual fee, you only pay $25 annually to gain access to more than 20 makes and models of cars through the service.

If you find yourself back in the District, you can rest easy knowing you’ll get a discount for your stay at area hotels. GW alumni get 15 percent off at One Washington Circle Hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn in Georgetown and the Hampton Inn near the White House. At the Residence Inn in Foggy Bottom, you’ll score 20 percent off.

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