Australian National University law student Jacqui Turner experienced the government shutdown, worked with US Senator and commerce committee chairman Roger Wicker, had a near miss with Ivanka Trump and heard the latest about the America-China argy-bargy over 5G technology on a recent internship to Washington.
In other words, she packed in a lot in her two months in the other national capital.
The 21-year-old was one of several ANU students who participated in The Fund for American Studies - Australian National University internship earlier this year in the midst of the US federal government shutdown.
"It was the only thing people were talking about and the only thing on the news and it was good to be there to see something like that first-hand, and something I'll always remember," she said.
While she experienced the impact of the shutdown first-hand - seeing rubbish-strewn parks, for one - the business of government continued as she was seconded to the office of Republican Senator Roger Wicker, chair of the committee on commerce, science and transportation.
"I went to a couple of hearings on the 5G [mobile phone network] issues and there was talk of the Chinese companies being ahead of their American counterparts and how they didn't want the market to be dominated by Chinese companies," she said.
"There was also talk about autonomous vehicles because they would be using the 5G technology."
Each year, TFAS partners with Flinders University and the Australian National University to offer selected Australian students a seven-week internship in the US Capitol. Since the program began in 2004, more than 200 students have had the opportunity to go beyond their textbooks and learn how US politics works.
Originally from Sydney and now in her fourth year of dual Arts/Law degrees, Jacqui said access to the internship was a big part of her decision to study at the ANU.
So did she get to see the President, Donald Trump?
"I didn't. I did see William Barr, the new attorney-general," she said. "And apparently [the president's daughter] Ivanka Trump visited the office of Chairman Wicker but I didn't find out about that until later."
So was it anywhere close to The West Wing?
"I haven't watched The West Wing. I was thinking, before I went, more House of Cards. But it wasn't that dramatic," she said.
For any students contemplating applying for the internship in the future, Jacqui was adamant.
"Definitely apply," she said. "I had a fantastic experience. It's totally out of your normal experience to be able to see behind the scenes and see how Congress works. It's something you otherwise don't have access to."
But the trip has not swayed her to pursue a career in politics.
"Probably not. I am probably leaning more towards the law aspect of the degree but it's been a great thing to learn about world events and see the contrasts and similarities between the institutions in the US and Australia," she said.