Have you decided to study English in Washington DC this summer? This is such a great way to spend your summer! Not only will you learn a language that will make your life infinitely better, but you will also get to experience one of the most active and fun seasons of the year in the nation’s capital. In today’s blog, we are helping students attending language schools in DC in the summer know how to navigate the squelching summer heat as well as how to have fun.
Enjoy the Sun and Summer Fun
First things first, you need to be prepared for the heat of the summer. The National Weather Service has the summer average for DC as 79 degrees Fahrenheit for the summer. While this may not sound like excruciating heat, it is important to note that the temperatures in the summer months can rise. For example, the average temperature for July is 89 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is not just the high temperatures you need to prepare for – it is the humidity. July has an average of 80% humidity in DC compared to Las Vegas’s 29%.
With that being said, the heat does not stop the fun in DC. It does just the opposite! After months of cold weather and snow, those who call DC home are ready and exciting to get outdoors and enjoy the sun. This is one of the reasons you can expect to see so many people out and about, and it is also why there are so many fun events like the outdoor summer movies series taking place around town.
As you pack your bags in anticipation of your English courses in Washington DC, you should be prepared to dress appropriately for the weather. Since it is hot and humid during the summer in DC, you should pack clothing that is loose and comfortable. Choose clothing items that are lightweight and light-colored, such as cotton blends. If you are worried about sunburns, you should consider investing in SPF clothing items that will protect your skin as you walk around the district.
Pack a Sweater
It may sound like a contradiction to tell you to pack a sweater right after we’ve said to pack light clothing for the summer heat. However, most indoor spots in DC, like an English test center, will be air-conditioned. Since they are air-conditioned, these indoor locations will be significantly cooler than outdoors. This is why it is wise always to have a sweater in your bag you can throw on when you enter a chilly building or classroom.
DC is an active city with people walking and biking regularly. While it is important to stay active in the summer months, it is even more important to stay hydrated during the summer. The American Heart Association explains, “When the temperatures rise, getting enough to drink is important whether you’re playing sports, traveling or just sitting in the sun. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently.” Plus, dehydration leads to serious problems, including heat stroke.
Avoid the Worst Time of Day
According to the American Skin Association, “To protect against damage from the sun’s rays, it is important to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest; to wear protective clothing; and to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.” It will not always be possible to avoid the sun during what seems to be the busiest times of day for many people. However, if you are taking an English class in DC during these hours and will be walking or biking in the direct sunlight, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.
Find the Right Place to Study
Considering what we discussed above, find the right place to study during these hours. For example, if you want to study outdoors during this time of day, you should make sure you find a shaded spot – preferably one with a breeze. Better yet – find an indoor study spot until the heat of the day has passed.
Know the Signs of Heat Illness
You can take care of yourself and others if you are aware of the signs of heat illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The following are signs:
- High body temperature
- Passing out
- Clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
If you expect a heat-related illness, move to a cooler place. For more tips on warning signs and what to do in case of emergency, see this guide from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Look for Free Events
Now that you know how to survive the heat, you should be prepared and ready to have some fun in the sun! For those students attending the wonderful Washington language school, inlingua, they have access to a Social Activities Program. Their calendar is packed with fun outdoor events that give them an opportunity to bond with their inlingua classmates, see the city, and practice their English in a real-life context. Even better – most of these student activities are free!
Plus, there are tons of free events happening all around DC in the summer, such as outdoor movies and outdoor festivals like the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival that runs around the 4th of July. And, when it is just too hot to be outdoors, spend the day indoors at one of the many free Smithsonian museums in DC.
Head to the Water
One of the best ways to survive the summer in DC is to take advantage of the numerous aquatic activities around the district. For example, you can go kayaking or paddle boarding on one of the area lakes. Or, take advantage of public swimming pools in DC, or get a day pass and spend a day lounging at a hotel pool with your fellow classmates.