“Ma ismuka?” I asked my Syrian friend’s little brother, expecting him to answer with his name. He looked at me, confused. I had just made a big Arabic learner faux pas: dialect confusion. As I had learned a while ago, there are two most common types of Arabic: colloquial and literary. Literary Arabic, or Fus’Ha is … Continue reading الشامي, School, and a New Friendship
Music. To some, it is entertainment. To others, an escape from the world. To me, it is one of the best ways to learn a language. Throughout my years learning Spanish and French, as well as my more recent Arabic self-study, it has always been music that has provided the best supplement to my formal … Continue reading The Language of Music
Eleven weeks till Pre-Departure Orientations! I am so excited to say that I have officially started my Mandatory Pre-Program Language Course (MPPLC) for the NSLI-Y program! As you may know, prior to the actual study abroad experience, NSLI-Y students have to complete a 10 week online course in the target language, so that they can … Continue reading Pre-Program Studies Begin!
As I wrote earlier, I have been volunteering as a Youth ESL Tutor for refugee children with iACT, the Interfaith Action of Central Texas on Saturdays. Today, I was volunteering in their other location for the first time, and I expected the general routine: come in, help out the kids, take them outside for some … Continue reading A Happy Coincidence
Last fall, I applied for a scholarship to study Arabic from the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y). NSLI-Y is an organization funded by the U.S. Department of State, which sends high school students abroad on fully covered federal scholarships to study critical languages. The application and selection process took about six months but … Continue reading NSLI-Y: The Journey Begins
Last Saturday was my first day of volunteering as a Youth ESL Tutor with iACT, or the Interfaith Action of Central Texas, an organization that helps refugees in Austin. I had a wonderful time, and I want to dedicate this post to my experience. I must admit, as the only high schooler in the group … Continue reading Volunteering with Refugees
A few people asked me about the process of my production, “Displaced”, and how it came about. After some thinking, I decided it would be a good idea to write a post summing up what I did, and how things worked out! My first step, of course, was research. I spent a lot of time … Continue reading “Displaced” Process
They say that the best way to learn a language is through absolute immersion. It has been scientifically proven that after acquiring some basic prerequisites, the most effective means of becoming fluent is by surrounding oneself with native speakers. When seeking for ways to improve my French, I thought about how I could achieve the … Continue reading French Immersion in Austin!
A Long Journey to Closed Doors: By Shraddha Joshi, 2016 “Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” The basic rights that every American deserves. Citizens all across the country take these privileges for granted, and few have ever taken the time to envision what life would be without them. It’s the “American Dream,” right? However, just … Continue reading OPINION: Why Unaccompanied Central American Child Migrants Should be Granted Refugee Status
I was overwhelmed by the wonderful response for my production, “Displaced”. It was truly gratifying to see how the Austin community came together to support this cause. We were able to raise about $6000, which will all go towards supporting refugee girls in our city! According to a GirlForward representative, this was one of their … Continue reading “Displaced”: Response