My year abroad in Bordeaux, France, was one of the most profound experiences I’ve had in college. I learned something new every day, and I was able to challenge myself to put my Middlebury education to good use. However, upon returning to the US, I could see my friends’ eyes glaze over every time I’d go off on another tangent about “When I was in France”—and I’d feel badly about it.
As I was preparing to come back to Middlebury for my senior year, I wondered how I might be able to share my experiences further, since I constantly thought about them. Thankfully, I heard about Language in Motion (LiM), one of Community Engagement’s newest initiatives. Founded by Juniata College in 2000, Language in Motion trains college students to present to local schools about their cross-cultural experiences.
I was excited to hear that LiM was coming to Midd this year because so many of us here have had international experience or study at least one language. The program seemed the perfect way to tap into our resources in order to support world language classrooms in Addison County. And, of course, it would be a great way for students like me—someone with international experience and/or high language skills—to give back in a meaningful way.
Working as one of two Program Outreach and Support Assistants for LiM this academic year has been another highlight of my college experience, only second to going abroad. I’ve been able to use my creativity and organizational skills to help jumpstart a new program on campus. Doubling as a presenter, I’ve gotten to reflect on the most memorable parts of being abroad with others who have similar experiences. Additionally, I’ve had the chance to practice my presentation skills (how to move beyond just giving a PowerPoint), and I’ve met some great kids and teachers by coming in to present in their classrooms.
Finally, I’ve gotten to work with Community Engagement, which, even as a senior, I knew little about. Coming into the office (just behind the library), I walk up the stairs and greet our wonderful adult and student staff. Everyone here is passionate about making a difference; it’s inspiring! It just goes to show you that it’s never too late to be involved and that you can leave your impact and meet new people even as an upperclassman.
-Julia Angeles ’15
Learn more about Language in Motion here!