Why did you choose GLN for an internship?
I went to a college where students spend 3 1/2 of their 4 years abroad, and in my travels I discovered a real passion for language and linguistic anthropology. As a recent grad, I was looking for a way to continue to work with languages without having to go into the teaching or translation, and so I found GLN. GLN’s vision to connect and empower people through language and culture, thereby promoting an understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity and aiming to form connections across those divides, really appealed to me, along with the fact that GLN is the only language school I know of that consistently offers classes in less-commonly-taught languages.
What did you learn from the internship?
I learned a lot about the administrative side of language education, as previously I’d only been familiar with how the teaching side works. It’s been inspiring to see the passion and energy devoted to promoting the mission and vision of the organization, whether it’s through outreach or program evaluations or even figuring out the classes each semester. That’s probably been my favorite part of my experience at GLN–working with the people involved in keeping this organization running. Since GLN is essentially volunteer-run, it’s especially admirable to find so many people who are enthusiastic enough about GLN’s cause to devote a great deal of their free time to keeping it running. For example, whenever I discuss GLN with people outside of the organization they’re always struck by the fact that all of the teachers are volunteers. I think it really says a lot about the people who work here that a teacher’s main reason to teach is purely their passion for their own language and culture.
What’s in store for your future?
This fall I’ll be beginning a library/information science internship with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and helping them out with their One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage project. I also plan on applying to grad school in fall for a Master’s in Library and Information Science. That might seem kind of odd given the amount of energy and time I’ve devoted to language study, but honestly it’s driven by exactly that. I’m considering pursuing the Archives/Records Management concentration because, through my experiences at school and at GLN, I’ve come to understand the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity and, in today’s rapidly globalizing world, the importance of preservation as a method of promoting and honoring a group’s heritage.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Interning at GLN is a great experience, especially for those interested in language or international education, and it gives you the chance to work with a fantastic group of people!
I truly enjoyed my time at GLN, and I hope to see you all at G-Fest in September!
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