Archive for the ‘Language Study’ Category

Fostering Grassroots Sustainability in Panama

Monday, July 27th, 2009

By Emily Primack

It rains almost everyday in the early afternoon in La Palma. While walking I notice buckets collecting the water to be used for later. My first day with my host family, they explained that water was a valuable resource and was to be used sparingly. Basically, I understood from my basic level of Spanish that I should simply live by the old saying, “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” I have gotten more and more used to taking 60 second showers and brushing my teeth with as little amount of water as necessary.

For some reason, I assumed all of this effort to conserve water was the whole “Going Green!” fad. However, a few days ago while riding a chiva (a bus without a schedule), I noticed all of the people around me throwing their trash out the window as if the ground was their own personal trash can. I kept it cool until I reached my house and could ask my host family about littering. They explained to me that there was indeed a law against it, however it was not enforced whatsoever.

I learned that my family and others living in La Palma do not conserve to save the environment, but instead to save money. While it makes complete sense, I was a bit dissapointed. Read the rest of this entry ?

Dispatch From Abroad: “Polish Alaska”

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

By William Schreiber

“Polish Alaska” – that’s how Janusz Krajnik describes the region of Bieszczady to me.  Janusz, like many others of his generation, studied Russian and not English in school, but even I am hard-pressed to think of a better description. Bieszczady is a wild paradise with mountainous terrain, packs of bison and wolves, log cabins and even natural oil. During the winter it even looks like Alaska.

Janusz is the directior of the Jan Pawel II Gymnasium in Tarnawa Dolna. For four weeks I’m teaching English classes to 60-some students in this village. Equipped with one semester of Polish classes and a crash course in international affairs courtesy of the Elliott School, I’m standing in front of a classroom on Poland’s border with Slovakia and Ukraine, an area that just a few years ago was at the center of the history I’m studying at GW today. Although I can’t attest to the amount of English my students have picked up in four short weeks, I have certainly learned a lot by teaching and living in the beautiful homes, fields, and mountains of the Polish Alaska.

William is a sophomore in the Elliott School of International Affairs, majoring in International Affairs and concentrating in Europe and Eurasian Studies. In the summer of 2009, he taught students in Poland through Learning Enterprises and has also taught in D.C. with the AnBryce Institute.

Dispatch From Abroad: Teaching English in Panama

Friday, July 17th, 2009

By Emily Primack

I am currently living in a rural village called La Palma in Panama teaching English at the secondary school. I teach 7th, 8th and 9th grade which is an awkward age no matter what country you live in. My students are more than a handful but after teaching for three weeks, they have started to grow on me. Read the rest of this entry ?

Dispatch From Abroad: Language Study in Jordan

Monday, July 13th, 2009

By Brian Engel

The Hills of the Jordanian Desert, Near Petra. Photo: Brian Engel

My name is Brian Engel, and I’m a rising senior in the Elliott School of International Affairs pursuing a degree in International Affairs and Political Science.  I’m spending this summer living and studying abroad in Amman, Jordan, at the Qasid Institute for Classical and Modern Standard Arabic.  My concentrations in Conflict & Security and Middle Eastern Studies made the decision to study Arabic, as well as the decision to go abroad to the Middle East, relatively painless.  I can honestly say that while I’ve only been here for roughly a month, I have no regrets thus far. Read the rest of this entry ?

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