I remember my first six months living in the USA—I spoke not a single word of English outside the globally known, “How are you?” and other such phrases. It didn’t hit me up until last year on just how far I have come from the 4th grader who spoke no English. I have a 3.7 GPA in my first two years in college; I’m a dean’s list student; I’m enrolled in COURAGE, a club which sole purpose is to bring community members to become more civically engaged, and I also speak fluent English with not a single trace of an accent (Except for words which contain “th,”)—I know for a fact I wouldn’t be at this point without the help of those who helped me adapt. In the transition period, when I spoke no English, I remember the many helping hands who were willing to sacrifice their time in order to make me feel a part of the holistic group. Other students, teachers, community members, and others all made the transition from Italy to the USA as seamless as the transition could possibly be. Due to this, I have a feeling of being indebted; it is only just that I help those just as I was helped, especially since I’m in a position of being able to connect with individuals going through this adaptation phase, as I went through the identical experience.
In a position where I’m now able to help, I’ve done so many times. I was a mentor to an Italian foreign exchange student throughout her year of living in the United States—I also taught Italian in all of my four years of being in high school after school through a world language program that my school district offered to all of its intermediate students.
I became interested in international initiatives due to fact on just how influential they were to me whenever I first arrived to the United States. Without international initiatives, I don’t feel as I would be where I am today. Many of these initiatives helped me integrate myself into a foreign land—these initiatives would not be possible if awesome people weren’t behind them. I felt like becoming one of these awesome people, and have done so in many times by taking apart of these initiatives.
I took part in an after-school program which specialized in teaching 4th, 5th, 6th graders about a designated foreign language, along with the culture which is tagged along with it. Coming from Italy, I took it upon myself to introduce Italian to the program, and that I did for my entire time in high school. I also helped a foreign exchange student throughout her entire year spent in America, an experience which made me grow a ton in maturity and responsibility, having to care for someone in that fashion certainly has that affect. For the future, I hope to become involved with the multitude of projects that Global Ambassadors offers, especially the more personal ones they offer with foreign students—I feel those are the most critical for a successful campaign abroad for a foreign exchange student.
One thing I learned from participating in these programs is just how passionate I, and many others, are about the international community. I never thought that 4th, 5th, and 6th graders would continuously bug me after class was over in order to learn more about the culture and the language. If children can grow a passion and an appreciation for the vast culture and language which world is home to, anyone can. It’s really intriguing how something foreign can form a level of interest in people, something which I have learned from these programs.
Millersville students should get involved with Global Education as it a gateway to anyone who is interested in anything international, be connected to international activities and programs. Knowing about other cultures from around the world only causes one to be more receptive to the diversity which the world houses, along with helping one grow a deeper understanding of others and why they express themselves in a certain manner.