Turkish Travels: Question and Answer with A.C.E. Staff Amy Engblom
Amy Engblom, Student Advisor and Activity Coordinator at A.C.E. Language Institute at Montana State University. traveled from Bozeman, Montana to Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey in May 2016 and visited former A.C.E. students and Turkish university professors.
Q: Amy, why did you travel to Turkey?
A: Well, I lived in Istanbul for many years and wanted to return and visit friends there. It had been four years since I had been to Turkey.
Q; So, did you also go to Turkey for work?
A: I thought that since I was already planning a vacation trip to Turkey that it would also be nice to see Gazi University where a lot of our Turkish students study in the Civil Engineering Dual Degree program with Montana State University. We also have some students from Istanbul Technical University in Bozeman so I thought it would be good to connect with them as well.
Q: How was your experience visiting the universities in Turkey?
A: It was so wonderful to see our former A.C.E. students at Gazi University in Ankara! One of the students even picked us up from the airport. We spent time talking about the Intesive English Program and they were surprised that I could speak Turkish. We discussed partnership and how to help prepare students to be successful. It was really good to be there and meet the professors. It helps to know where the students come from to be able to help them adjust to life at MSU.
Q: Did you go site-seeing?
A: Yes, a student took us to see the memorial tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Ankara. It was an amazing place! We even go there in time to see the changing of the guard soldiers. In Istanbul, we had a nice evening with a teacher from ITU and took a drive along the Bosporus river.
Q: When do you plan to go back?
A: Well, I live and work in Bozeman, Montana now! It’s a long trip to Turkey, but I recommend it!! I’m glad I get to work at A.C.E. with students from many countries because it’s fun to share our different cultures and experiences.
For the hours you spend teaching us in class.
For the hours you spend planning each lesson and grading our work.
For the hours you spend up at night thinking of how you can help us understand the English Language in all of its craziness.
For the advice, the life lessons; the smiles, the laughter; the worry, the hope…
On National Teacher Day 2016 we thank you for every single day you believe in us to do our very best and succeed.
Two weeks of intensive English study at A.C.E. Language Institute. Two weeks of American cultural immersion with home stay families across Seattle. Visits to city organizations specializing in nutrition, community outreach, and health care.
So what’s left to do?
Cook a delicious, authentic Japanese meal and share it with friends and family!
On March 11th twenty-four Japanese nutrition students took part in a farewell celebration at Seattle Pacific University’s Community Kitchen. On hand were the students and chaperons from Tokyo Kasei University (TKU), SPU students, and staff and faculty from A.C.E., where TKU students had honed their English for the previous weeks.
The event was the culmination of cultural and academic immersion in Seattle. Weaved around English classes at A.C.E.’s Language Institute at SPU were trips to Farestart, a Seattle restaurant specializing in job training for homeless individuals, and Swedish Hospital, where students got a first-hand look at local community healthcare and wellness. At Bastyr University, TKU students interacted with Basytr students in an acupuncture classroom and enjoyed the organic lunch bar. Families across Seattle let TKU students into their homes, giving them precious cross-cultural memories that every student took with them back to Japan.
Students from TKU have been coming to Seattle every year since 2008. TKU, an all-women’s college in Tokyo, focuses on the humanities, nursing, home economics, and child development, so the two-week nutrition program fits with university curriculum. 2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the partnership between TKU, A.C.E. and SPU – a monumental achievement all three organizations hope to celebrate in both Seattle and Tokyo. There is certain to be more learning, laughter, and of course, delicious food in the years to come!
Montana State University recently hosted 20 Pakistani teachers for six weeks at part of the Teaching Excellence and Achievement program through the U.S. State Department. A.C.E. Language Institute was tapped to provide a series of professional development activities.
A.C.E. teachers at MSU met with Pakistani teachers initially to learn about their teaching contexts and talk shop. Three A.C.E. teachers also presented best practices that Pakistani teachers could take back with them. In a separate workshop, lead ESL instructor Valley Peters introduced reflective practice activities including collage, metaphor, and a journaling approach. Pakistani teachers produced colorful and engaging collages demonstrating their teaching beliefs and aspirations. In their final session with A.C.E. teachers, Pakistani fellows presented a 10 minute mini-lesson highlighting a new technique that they had learned during their program. They received feedback on the strengths of their lesson and ideas for improving it. Both A.C.E. and Pakistani teachers learned a great deal from the exchange!
At A.C.E. Language Institute at Montana State University, students and staff have really had some fun times together. Here is a list of the most popular activities that we plan to continue making a part of student life. Some are for winter and others for spring and summer. Some include only students in the Intensive English Program and others include MSU students. All are for enjoyment and good relationship building!
1. Yellowstone National Park
We rent a coach bus and spend the whole day travelling through this famous place full of geothermal sites, bison and other wildlife, and amazing waterfalls. A.C.E. Students at Yellowstone National Park
2. Ski Day
We learn to downhill ski at Bridger Bowl, a local ski resort only a half hour by car from Bozeman. Our students can get a special price which includes ski lessons, tickets, and rentals! Bridger Bowl
3. Museum of the Rockies and Taylor Planetarium Show
The main feature at this museum is dinosaur bones! The museum houses one of the largest collection of fossils in the world! Museum of the Rockies
4. Bowling & Billiards on Friday Afternoons
MSU’s Strand Union Rec Center has 6 bowling lanes, 14 billiard tables, arcades, air hockey and much more. Strand Union Rec Center
5. Corn Maze and Campfire
In the autumn season we go to a special farm and walk through a maze in the evening twilight…then we build a warm campfire and share some songs and company. Montana Corn Maze
7. Helena, Capital City of Montana
We visit the State Capitol Building, eat lunch downtown, and see the famous sites. Visit Helena
10. Graduation Parties and BBQ
We have fun celebrating the success of our students with hamburgers, cake, and lots of applause!