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Abroad at AU | Sports, Clubs & Activities


Abroad at AU students have access to the Jacobs Fitness Center and the Cassell Fitness Center, both of which are state-of-the-art fitness centers that include treadmills, ellipticals, cross trainers, upright and recumbent bikes, stairclimbers, free weights and selectorized and late loaded strength equipment. Additionally, there are group classes available and the Jacobs Fitness Center features an Olympic-size pool.

Students interested in playing a team sport can participate in intramural or club sports organized on campus.


Abroad at AU students can enjoy a wide range of on-campus activities that include speakers, panel discussions, movies, concerts and plays. American University features the Kennedy Political Union (KPU), one of the premier student-run lecture series in the United States. KPU has brought such speakers as then-Senator Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Dole, Robert F. Kennedy, and journalist Bob Woodward among hundreds of others. AU also has a variety of student-run clubs in which Abroad at AU students can participate focusing on topics ranging from international relations to cultural groups to political organizations.

Katzen Art Center

Katzen Rotunda and Fountain

The Katzen Arts Center provides Abroad at AU students the opportunity to experience the arts while studying at American University. The Katzen Arts Center brings all the visual and performing arts programs at AU into one 130,000 square foot space. Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, the new center provides state-of-the-art instructional, exhibition, and performance space for all arts disciplines. The Katzen Arts Center features the extraordinary 30,000 square foot AU Museum with a variety of gallery spaces for exhibition of exciting contemporary art from the nation's capital region and the world, along with AU's own Watkins Collection and the collection of Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen.

Student Experiences

Javier with the water and Washington Monument in the background.

Javier Pastor Pérez-Estrada

Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (ICADE), Spain
Abroad at AU Student: Academic Year, 2013-2014
AU Study Focus: Law and Business Administration

After spending his first semester at AU, Javier felt as though he needed more time in DC and at AU. As a law and business administration Javier was particularly impressed by the tools taught at AU such as professional skills and STATA. During his first week on campus, Javier approached a fellow student playing with a rugby ball on campus and joined the club team. Joining the team was a great way to make friends, both American and international students, and get involved on campus. Javier also took various weekends and school breaks throughout the semester to visit many different places including New York City, Shenandoah National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Chicago. When asked to give advice to future A@AU students Javier said, “do as many things as possible, meet as many people as possible and make the most of the facilities AU provide to the students. I would also recommend to join a sport club or a team, because is the best way to make friends and more especially American friends.”

Moritz Tilgner with another German student.

Moritz Tilgner

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Germany
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2013
AU Study Focus: Finance & Management

When Moritz arrived in Washington, DC, he knew he wanted to become a part of the local AU community. While talking to a fellow floor mate in his dorm, Moritz heard about the on campus Professional Business Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. Learning about the organization’s description and common interest, Moritz realized this was a perfect way to prioritize his desire to join a group and meet fellow AU students. Diving into the ‘American’ student life experience, Moritz became the Vice-President for Professional Development in his pledge class and spent a lot of time getting to know the organization member’s backgrounds, both academic and professional. As Professional Development Vice-President, Moritz helped organize an on campus panel discussion with two former World Bank Institute employees and an executive from IBM. Joining the Professional Business Fraternity was a highly enriching experience for Moritz and he encourages “every International student to join a great community like [AKPsi].” By becoming involved in a club or organization on campus that pursues your interest, students will “learn a lot about themselves and others, and most importantly make great friends!”

Megan Price plays rugby

Megan Price

The University of Queensland, Australia
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2013
AU Study Focus: Political Science

Megan has been playing soccer for years, at school and university! Once in DC, Megan began solo drills on the AU Turf Field to relieve stress and eventually met other students playing ‘pickup’ games. After hearing about the Women’s Soccer Club, Megan tried-out for the team and made it! By joining the club soccer team, Megan was able to stay fit, make great friends with fellow AU student players, and travel to other universities in the area for matches. While Megan loves soccer, it was the team and being with American students on the field that made the experience great. “The club soccer team was pretty important to me in terms of meeting US college students. One of my teammates invited me home for an American Thanksgiving – an experience everyone should have!” says Megan. The overall experience of playing for the team during her Abroad at AU semester was a great way to meet new friends and play the game she loves at the same time.

Tamara Raicevic with volleyball team

Tamara Raicevic

University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Abroad at AU Student: Academic Year, 2012-2013
AU Study Focus: Applied Mathematics

When at University in Serbia, Tamara was always on the Volleyball court! During her first semester at AU, Tamara joined a team to play intermural volleyball against other AU student teams. After a semester of intermural play, she attended team trials for the official Women’s Volleyball Club at the beginning of spring semester. Playing for the AU club volleyball team was Tamara’s “best experience while studying at AU.” Playing with teams of all AU students provided a great opportunity to meet a group of new friends with a shared passion and interest in Volleyball. As the only international student in the club, Tamara showed her skill in matches across the DC region and was selected to travel with the team to the National Volleyball Club Sport Tournament in Dallas, Texas. The tournament included more than 300 teams from across the United States competing in various volleyball matches throughout the weekend. Tamara states, “The whole experience was so much fun and allowed me to get involved with American students more than any other activity.”

Marjun Parcasio

Marjun Parcasio

University of Ottawa, Canada
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2012
AU Study Focus: Government and History

As a Government and History major, coming to American University in the middle of a US Presidential election year was a great fit for Marjun! During his fall semester as AU, Marjun was heavily involved with the AU College Democrats club – even having the opportunity to go canvassing in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio. The organization was a great way to meet AU students and make new friends with American students on campus. Marjun also joined the DC Students Speak club, an organization working to register DC students and encouraging them to participate in National and Local elections. In addition to taking advantage of the election buzz in the District, Marjun also interned for a U.S. Senator, a great opportunity to compare his experience in the Canadian Parliament to American politics and relate his government class work to real life. With his internship, on campus club involvement, and AU Buddy, Marjun really took advantage of his time in DC and participated in many different activities. His advice to everyone else, “Be open to trying something new, and don't be afraid to explore the city!”

Chloe Lailler with a rugby teammate

Chloé Lailler

Science Po Lille, France
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2010-Spring 2011

Chloé played rugby for two years in France and decided to join the American University Women Rugby Football Club as soon as she arrived at AU. She wanted to continue playing, see how rugby might be different in the United States and to meet new friends. The rugby team quickly integrated Chloé into the group and she enjoyed that the team was made up of girls from different years and with different experience levels. The team practiced three times a week and had a game every Saturday morning. Outside of practice and matches the teams also spent a lot of time together just hanging out, laughing and sharing their different cultures. Chloé believes that joining a club sport is a great opportunity to share a passion and to make American friends. The rugby team was an important part of her experience at AU and in America in general. It was a great way for her to fit in and understand American culture.

Elena Bomm

Elena Bomm

University of Osnabrück, Germany
Abroad at AU Student: Fall 2009

During her time at American University, Elena decided to join the Language Exchange Club. Already speaking four languages, she wanted to practice her language skills and possibly learn a new language. Elena found that the The Language Exchange Club provided a space for international and AU students to meet and build relationships with one another. Elena was matched with another student, who spoke German, Spanish and English. During trips out to dinner or to the movies, Elena and her partner would switch between learning Spanish and practicing German. "It is a great possibility to improve language skills, to learn about different cultures, and to meet new people", says Elena.