Extracurricular Activities: Student Reflections

Every two weeks, our English Language Training (ELT) students choose to participate in fun and exciting extracurricular activities to help develop their communication, teamwork, and leadership skills; gain insight into life on campus and in the United States; and connect with peers around the world. Heidy Molina, Zaw Than Soe, and Gilbert Kandaya share their experiences so far:

Here, ELT students enjoy learning about each other’s country, culture, and language. Pictured (left to right): Thin San, (Burma), Susan Yang (Program Officer), Daniela Lopez (Guatemala), Heidy Molina (Dominican Republic), Boubacar Soumana (Niger), Sugdiyona Khushnudbekova (Uzbekistan), Bethel Hall (Ethiopia), Kyra Chamberlain (Program Associate), Aliya Bikeyeva (Kazakhstan), Emilsa Felipe (Guatemala), Gulsum Kosumbekova (Tajikistan), Yuanru Wang (China), Aung Khant Ko (Burma), Alinoor Abdullahi (Kenya), Chanjalearn Rasphone (Laos), and Erick De Lana (Dominican Republic)

“My favorite extracurricular activity is “Elements of U.S. Culture,” because I had an opportunity to further explore U.S. culture, both outside and on campus, which will help me adjust to life in a new environment. Furthermore, this activity provided me with useful tips as a future foreign student. For instance, participating in school activities will help me build relationships with both professors and fellow students.” – Gilbert Kandaya, Malawi

“I am someone who likes to take advantage of all the opportunities available to better my life; extracurricular activities are no exceptions. I have been participating in most of the activities from the beginning, and I can truly say that it has been an amazing experience because of the great advisors that we have and the knowledge I have acquired through them. I have made new friends, learned about different cultures, shared my culture, improved on my English, got to know my advisors, and learned more about U.S. culture. One of my favorite activities has been “Book Club.” In that session, I shared the book that I had been reading and learned more about what my peers were reading.” – Heidy Molina, Dominican Republic

“Extracurricular activities give me the platform to meet other Global UGRADs, share perspectives, and become more open-minded. My favorite session is “Elements of U.S. Culture,” because I am learning new facts about U.S. culture which will help me with culture shock and misunderstandings, and provide me with tips and knowledge to adapt to life in the U.S. Prior to this session, I thought Americans were workaholics, hardworking and independent. This session helped me dispel these stereotypes. The discussion that really caught my attention, however, was “Diversity of the U.S.” I learned that diversity is one of the U.S.’s biggest strengths and can contribute to a stronger and greater society.” – Zaw Than Soe, Burma