Students participate in language immersion programs

By Graham Deshazer | Copy Editor

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Many students will be traveling abroad this summer. Juniors Graham Rosen and Sebastian Elverskog will be attending different language immersion programs over the summer.

Graham was selected from over 6,000 applicants to receive a scholarship through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth.

“I think this will be a great opportunity to immerse myself in another culture,” Graham said. “I’ve been taking Arabic lessons for two years, and I think this will really enhance my understanding of the language.”

During his time in Morocco, Graham will be staying with a host family in either Marrakesh or Rabat. Graham will be attending classes in both Modern Standard Arabic and Darija Arabic, which is the local dialect.

“In addition to learning Arabic, I’ll also be going on a lot of excursions to different areas in Morocco such as Fez, the mountains, the coast, the Sahara and other historical locations in the area,” Graham said.

The application process for the program was very rigorous. It started in October 2014 and included essays, teacher and parent recommendations and a copy of the student’s transcript. Once Graham moved to the next level, he had an interview with the American Foreign Exchange, the program through which NSLI-Y sends the students abroad.

“The application process required a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it,” Graham said.

Graham was given a full merit-based scholarship which includes tuition, transportation, room and board, and textbooks. He is only responsible for paying for personal expenses, like souvenirs. He seemed confident about this new opportunity.

“This is the longest I’ve ever been away from home, and I think the cultural shock might be a lot to deal with.” Graham said, “I’m really not worried about about any of that because I’m quick to adapt.

Sebastian will be attending a four-week Arabic immersion program in Vermont through Middlebury College.

“I’m really excited about going to this program,” Sebastian said. “I’m looking to progress my knowledge of the language.”

Sebastian attended a boarding school in Vermont last semester and loved the experience. He is interested in attending Middlebury for college, and this will give him valuable insight into the school.

“I loved Middlebury when I visited last year, and it’s at the top of my list to attend,” Sebastian said. “Hopefully this is a good way to get used to the campus and really see if it’s a place I want to go.”

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