. University of Washington college life - an interview with tour guides : Budget Travel Adventures

University of Washington college life – an interview with tour guides

College Football Travel Tour University of Washington campus tour guide interviewsApril 14, 1865.

The US was still divided in a Civil War.  Yet on this day, the country lost a President as Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.  People mourned and were shocked at the news.

On the campus of the University of Washington, the bells rang.


I’ve been to Seattle a couple of times visiting a number of sites like the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, and Pike Place Market.  Yet I had never stepped foot on the campus of the University of Washington.

As a college football fan, I had watched a number of Husky football games on TV and thought the stadium by the lake was beautiful.  The fans had a reputation for being some of the best on the west coast.  However, I believed the stereotype and thought of the city and campus at the University of Washington as cold and rainy.

However, Saturday morning I stepped off the plane and headed straight to school to take a look around the campus at Washington, in the northern part of the city.  As I took the Link light rail from the airport to the station, I was excited to see all the beautiful fall colors around me.

The University of Washington was my first stop on my College Football Travel Tour.  Aside from a little knowledge about the city and the football team, I didn’t know much about the school.  As I stepped on campus ready for my morning campus tour, my mind and eyes were wide open.

What made this university so special?  Was the campus as beautiful as many people said it was?  Why did students want to go to school here?

As I walked around campus, I have to admit it was beautiful.  The sun was shining brightly sitting high in the sky, mocking my one stereotype of Seattle that it was always “cold and rainy.”  Over the next few days, I got a chance to experience college life, meet students, watch a college football game at Husky stadium, enjoy tailgating on Lake Washington, learn a little more about the Greek life on campus, and wander down the Ave.

In my first day on campus, the University of Washington made a good first impression.  As part of the College Football Travel Tour, I will share my experiences and stories, food, fun, and football.  I learned that the school is 150 years old and that the bell on top of Denny Hall rang for Lincoln’s assassination.

However, no one can tell you what the University of Washington is like, what being at a school in downtown Seattle offers you, or what truly makes this campus so special except the students (and alumni) that go here.

After my morning tour of campus, I had a chance to talk with two students who served as my campus tour guides at the University of Washington.  After learning so much about the school, I wanted to given them a chance to share their story.

Campus life, downtown Seattle, and the University of Washington

Brent Nagamine and Dan Fiedler got to the University of Washington from two different places.  Brent came to Seattle from the Hawaiian islands while Dan grew up in the part of Washington where that “other” Washington school is located.

Dan is majoring in international studies, has traveled around the world, loves geography, and is passionate about standing up for human rights.  Brent is majoring in communications, is part of the Husky marching band, and wants to go back to Hawaii to be a college counselor at his high school.

Two students from completely different walks of life whose lives are headed in opposite directions once they leave the University of Washington.  So what is it about the University of Washington that appeals to students like Dan and Brent?

After spending a few days here on campus, I won’t pretend to be an expert on college life at the University of Washington.  I am not here to sell the campus or the school or talk about SAT scores and how it rates as an academic institution.

However, Dan and Brent share their perspectives on college life at UW, why they chose to go to school here, what makes the school a good fit for them, how a big school like this fits into Seattle, and what makes a visit here worth the trip.

I appreciate the time Dan and Brent took to share their perspectives on the school, college life, what it means to be a part of this university, and what makes it so special.  As part of my visit here for the College Football Travel Tour, I will be  sharing more of my own stories, photos, and videos from my time at the University of Washington.

From my perspective, the campus is beautiful and location is perfect.  Here I was in the heart of one of the biggest, most popular cities on the west coast yet I felt like this place was its own community, far away and yet still so close to the city.  The student population is truly international and this is reflected in the faces, food, and opportunities all around the campus.  Like other places I’ve visited, there are things I liked and things I didn’t like.  However, the University of Washington was so much more than I expected.

For those that love food, football, and everything in between, the University of Washington is an international campus and a comfortable college community that offers quite a number of choices.

For the first stop on the College Football Travel Tour, this made going back to school a lot of fun.

What is your favorite thing about the University of Washington and/or the city of Seattle?

Follow the College Football Travel Tour and read more stories from the road as we travel to college football games all over the country, discover the towns and communities, and share stories that make colleges and universities such a unique part of American culture.

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Filed Under: College Football Travel TourDestinationsSports and travelTravel TipsUniversity of WashingtonUSA


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  1. John says:

    The stadium is in a beautiful location but I think it’s starting to look a little out of date. I visited last November and it looks as though they’ve started construction on it, which hopefully is a promising sign that it will soon be upgraded.

    • John, in the game that I went to, that was the last game at Husky stadium until 2013. The stadium is being closed for renovations and it’s going to have a lot of changes. The track will be removed, the stands will be closer to the field, and the stadium will get an upgrade. So look forward to a much nicer stadium they next time they have a game there.

  2. Abby says:

    Love it. A friend of mine toured some beautiful universities in Europe, something I don’t think I would ever think to do.

    • That’s something I need to do more of when I go to Europe. When I was in Sevilla, I actually walked around campus there and had lunch in a cafe on campus. Even in other countries, checking out college campuses is a lot of fun. Also, students can be great tour guides (and many of them know English as well and want to practice).

  3. Christine says:

    U-Dub is my Alma Mater!! Glad to hear you enjoyed your time on campus. Next time, you should time your trip to coincide with the cherry blossoms blooming on campus…it’s absolutely gorgeous out on the Quad then. We’re not all football and Greek life however; UW is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world and is considered a “Public Ivy”. We’re brains and brawn. 😉 Go Dawgs!

    • The Cherry Blossoms are supposed to be beautiful. However, since this was the College Football Travel Tour, I couldn’t go in the Spring. The colors of Fall weren’t bad on the quad though! :)

      As for UW, I saw a lot of the school and not just Greek life and football. That was just a small aspect of everything I experienced. I got the rundown on the school and all that they have to offer. Seems like a great place to go to school!

  4. Andrew says:

    I love hearing about the internationalness of campuses and people studying international studies. There is something great and uplifting about seeing younger people know that there is a wider world out there to appreciate. Somehow that knowledge gives them a different outlook on life and people.

    This is great, Jeremy, that you are looking at the campuses behind the teams on your tour. Bravo.

    • Seattle is a very international city. If you listened to Dan’s interview, that was a big draw for him. I really loved the interview with him because he definitely brought a travel/world perspective .

      The idea behind the College Football Travel Tour is to use college football as a way to introduce people to college campuses, towns, and unique aspects of US culture through college sports. 70% of my time on these tour stops is spent on the school, town, things to do, places to eat, where to stay, and fun stories while 30% is spent on the football. I want people who love football AND travel to enjoy this series.

  5. I love the overall vibe of Seattle. Never made it to the university, though. That’s something I can add to my list for next time.

  6. I think your right. my sister graduated from there and mentioned a stadium over haul was in the works.

    • The game I went to against the University of Oregon was the last game at Husky stadium until 2013. The cranes and construction equipment were already in place to start making the renovations. As the game ended, people were ripping the suit cushions off the bleachers and taking them. I even got a couple myself.

      I love the location of the stadium but the upgrades will be really nice once they are complete. The track will be gone and the stands will be closer to the field. It will make for a great environment and better seating all around the stadium.

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