The Journalism and Information Science students at IFTIC are beginner English-language learners. The majority of these students are from Niger, but some also come from Chad and a few are from Benin and Burkina Faso. The students are used to speaking many different languages at home and while they are out and about, but they are beginners with the English language. So far in the semester, it has been a real challenge for students to participate even in short conversations in English. They worked hard to prepare questions to ask their guest and succeeded in carrying on a group conversation, as well as exchanging important information about Niger and the United States. Now, every week when Knop sees her students, they ask how her sister is doing. The interview was a simple activity of cultural exchange, but it had a lasting impact on all the participants—students, Fellow, and visitor.
“Experiencing an entirely new culture and language and getting to present the diversity of the current American demography as a South-Asian American have been the most impactful aspects of my fellowship experience,” Naila Islam states. Read more to discover her life as a fellow in Kazakhstan.