My homestay in Tenrymura, Japan: Beyond Service-Learning, by Diana Lam ‘21

Diana Lam ‘21 reflects on her participation in the Japan Summer Service-Learning Program.

          At the beginning of the Japan Summer Service-Learning (JSSL) Program, I did not expect to learn as much as I did. However, I quickly learned that this program exposes us to more than what I understood to be service-learning. I learned how to be independent by doing things like taking the train in Tokyo, and I broadened my perspective to appreciate Japanese culture and language by doing things like eating nagashi soumen and making connections with a host family. Those are just a few examples of the many experiences and knowledge I gained throughout my summer in Japan.

          One of the most memorable experiences I had in the JSSL Program was going to Tenryumura, Nagano. During our time in Tenryumura, we had the chance to do a homestay with local families to experience daily life in a small mountain village. At first, I was quite worried that there would be a language barrier. However, the host family I was with made me feel as if the language barrier was non-existent. The host family used basic English and Japanese words along with body gestures to communicate with me. I realized that besides language and culture, it all boiled down to human interaction and the desire to communicate. As a result, I ended up building a deep connection with my host family.

          When I arrived in Tenryumura, I was taken away at the natural landscape; how beautiful and different it is from what I am used to. Born and raised in a big city, I did not have many chances to go to rural areas surrounded by nature. While I was only there for a few days, the daily flow seemed to be different from what I know.  The day seemed to be less structured around clocks and external schedules – and more around tasks at hand and relationships. Personally, I am so used to completing tasks one after another that I often forget what I am doing in the present; I am always focused on the future. Being in Tenryumura made me reflect on my life and the present; it made me aware that sometimes, it is important to have simplicity in life. I intend on taking the lessons I’ve learned this summer and applying them to my life at home, beyond the meaningful cross-cultural service-learning experience in Japan.

Diana Lam ‘21 with her homestay family

Host an International Student

The Friends of International Students (FIS) host program recruiting and matching process for the recently admitted Class of 2022 continues! The Class of 2022 will include more than 70 international students, including some U.S. students who have lived abroad and international exchange students. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting in the fall and spread the word in our community.

International Student & Scholar Services will hold a series of information meetings about the program throughout the summer on the 2nd floor of the Service Building. We ask that new hosts attend a meeting so that we can meet them and share more information about the program. If you are an experienced host, you are welcome to join us as your stories and insights are vital to friends who are new to FIS and trying to decide if they would be a good fit for the program.

Join us for one of our last 2 host information meetings of the season:

  • Monday, August 20, 5:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 6, 5:15-6:15 p.m.

 

To register for a meeting, please email ISSS at isss@middlebury.edu (subject line: FIS Host Program) or call us at 802.443.5858. Feel free to bring your lunch if you attend an afternoon meeting.

You can learn more about the FIS Host Program on our website at: http://www.middlebury.edu/international/isss/fis .

Please share this information with friends and family who do not work at the College.

We invite all who are interested to become a part of this wonderful program!

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

From MSA: Planning for College 101

Planning for College 101 | September 11, 2018 | 9:00 AM (PST) & 12:00 PM (PST) |  Register Here.

 

Higher education is costly, but there are plenty of options for meeting expenses, whether college is about to start or far in the future. Learn about different types of savings and investment accounts and how to set them up. Various education loans, grants and scholarships exist for financing education, and this presentation walks you through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process as well as other plausible funding strategies. We’ll help you decide which college funding options match your personal circumstances.

 

Note:  If you register and cannot attend, a recording of the webinar, along with a copy of the session presentation and handouts, will automatically be sent within 24 hours.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You work hard for your money, but is your money working hard for you?

When it comes to our finances, we always wonder if we are making the right moves, and searching for answers can feel overwhelming.

Middlebury College provides all employees access to financial well-being thru My Secure Advantage (MSA).

MSA helps you make the most of your hard earned dollars!  When it comes to living a financially stress-free life, every decision you make adds up.  Through MSA, employees and their covered dependents can work with a personal Money Coach and utilize website services to make financial stress a thing of the past.

What’s Included

  • 90 days of personalized money coaching with a personal, confidential, unbiased, and guilt free Money Coach.  Coaches don’t sell products or services: their only job is to provide expert guidance and improve your financial life.
  • Guidance on financial topics, goals, challenges, or questions.  Whether you’re getting by, digging out, or saving big, connecting with a Money Coach to discuss options, identify things to consider, and build out a plan can only help

Work with MSA to tackle questions like “Should I be saving more or paying down debt?” “When will I be able to retire, and how much do I need?” “What type of portfolio is best for me?” “How do I balance enjoying life now with saving for the future?” and more.

  • Online tools include videos, calculators, articles, and budgeting software to help you stress less and save more.

Questions?  Learn more about MSA here. To get started, sign up, and schedule your first appointment with a Money Coach call 888-724-2326.

Gaining Experience in STEM Fields: GEOLOGY

Employment of geoscientists, including geologists, is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur demand for geologists in the future.

What kind of societies and professional organizations do geologists have?

Summer Opportunities

Women, Law, and Legal Advocacy seminar in DC this fall

At the three-day Women, Law, and Legal Advocacy seminar, college women from across the U.S. considering a career in law will explore the connections between legal careers and the legislative process in Washington, DC, see first-hand how to use a career in law to make a difference in their communities and the country, and gain access to a network of women ready to help them launch a legal career.

Seminar | Thursday October 18 – Saturday October 20, 2018
Scholarship Deadline | September 6, 2018
Registration Deadline | September 13, 2018

2017 highlights: tour of the Department of Justice; panels featuring women lawyers at the Department of Justice; Networking 101; resume review; coalition building simulation
2017 panel topics: work life balance; cybersecurity; careers on Capitol Hill; advocacy and activism; international law

Click here for more information.