The A.C.E. Language Institute at Montana State University welcomed seven students from Namseoul University in Korea for a four week English program, January 17 – February 13, 2016. Outside of class time, the program offered students opportunities to practice communicating with native English speakers. They participated in conversation hour on Fridays to meet American students and other learners at A.C.E. Language Institute. They also were matched with MSU student volunteers who were language partners. Parker Tilton, an MSU student and language partner, described his experience:
“Our music, our food, our sports, and our schools were all very interesting to (my Korean conversation partner); as he was trying to get a clear picture of the American lifestyle. I helped him with English in expanding his vocabulary of both everyday phrases and words that are difficult to pronounce, such as fettuccine. It was always a pleasure to be around him, and I would absolutely do it again.”
Some of their best memories came from the time they spent with American host families. The students enjoyed a trip to Yellowstone National Park to soak in the boiling river, took in a MSU basketball game, played many raucous card games, and shared wonderful Korean dishes with their hosts. I-ho Pomeroy, host of two students and Bozeman City Commissioner, invited the students to join her in presenting to the lunch Rotary club on February 2. This was an important opportunity for the students to use their English and share their culture with more people in Bozeman. The Rotarians learned about Hangul, the Korean language, famous Koreans, and about the history of the country.
The students came to love Bozeman and got to know the community through a variety of avenues. They visited the Museum of the Rockies and had a great time skiing at Bridger Bowl. In order to learn more about the Bozeman community, they volunteered at the Gallatin Valley Foodbank and at The Community Café. These two non-profit organizations provide food and meals to those in need. They packed in a lot of fun, learning, and personal growth in their short time here! At the end of their English program, students received a certificate recognizing their coursework, activities and host family exchange, combined in 100 hours of English.
February 10, 2016, Seattle, WA – A.C.E. President David Woodward led the rousing and impassioned, first ever “Diplomacy Day” at Seattle Rotary #4’s meeting at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. Several hundred Rotarians and guests gathered to welcome consular officials from 21 countries, including four Consul General’s based in Seattle from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Brazil. The event included remarks from Rotary President Cathy Gibson and guests Seattle Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and SPU Interim Dean of Business Ross Stewart, before the keynote speech from Seattle Pacific University President Dan Martin (below photo).
President Martin elaborated on Seattle’s growing presence in the domestic and international economy, and how international and cultural education can be a difference maker, to “both help businesses grow and contribute to the well-being of communities.” President Martin also mentioned the long standing partnership between SPU and A.C.E., specifically mentioning the Culture Connections program. “[It is] a program that matches SPU student volunteers with ACE students, which allows international students to practice their English skills while also allowing SPU students a glimpse of a wider world.”
See more photos from the event in the slideshow below.
A.C.E. Level 3 students got the opportunity to meet local Seattle Pacific University students up close and personal on January 29, 2016. As part of their final exam project, Instructor Sally Thomas asked students in her Listening, Communication & Grammar course to interview SPU students in a beginning Spanish class about an interesting topic of their choice. Topics ranged from favorite local coffee houses to perspectives on homelessness in Seattle. At first, both sets of students seemed nervous and shy, but after the first few minutes, they started to get to know one another. They quickly began to smile and gain confidence communicating as the interview dialogue began to flow.
Thomas noted, “This was fantastic because A.C.E. students are eager to interact with SPU students but it is difficult for them to do it on their own. Likewise, the experience was so rich for the SPU students to share across cultures.”
The SPU Professor of Spanish, Eric Vogt, was so encouraged by the opportunity that he invited A.C.E. students to interview another class of students the following week.
A.C.E. welcomes opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to meet one another and explore other cultures. To join the conversation, learn more about our programs at A.C.E. Language Institute at Seattle Pacific University.
By Amy Engblom, A.C.E. at MSU Activities Coordinator
Fall is a beautiful season in Bozeman for A.C.E. students to explore! The Fall 2015 A.C.E. at MSU Events calendar was packed with excursions to nearby caverns and corn mazes, as well as traditional holiday activities like Halloween pumpkin carving.
On September 11, 2015, A.C.E. students traveled to Virginia City and the Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. It was a beautiful fall day in Southwestern Montana and our trip started in the old gold mining town of Virginia City. We enjoyed seeing the train tracks and looking in the windows of the stores in Virginia City that were set up 1860’s style. We looked in the Jefferson County Court House, had a quick lunch at a café, and hurried off the tour of the caverns. The huge cave was a series of rooms and lighted stairways. Our tour guide was funny and we all were happy to get back out into the sunshine after an hour and a half tour!
Another fall activity was the Montana Corn Maze on Friday, October 23. It was a clear, crisp evening as 26 students traveled to a nearby farm to experience a traditional American autumn activity. We walked around the red barn to wait for the tractor and wagon that would take us out to the corn field. The maze was cut in the corn field in a special design and inside the maze were pictures of animals. We had to find the animal that was missing; the one who did not have its picture hidden in the maze. After the maze we took the tractor and wagon back to the farm buildings where a campfire was waiting for us. We enjoyed roasting marshmallows for making “s’mores”, a traditional American campfire treat. Then the singing began around the campfire, with students sharing songs in Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, and Turkish. We were laughing and talking all the way home. It was a night and an adventure to always remember!
October ended with an annual A.C.E. tradition at the Halloween pumpkin carving party on October 30, 2015. This year, participants included students from Japan, Mongolia, Ecuador, and Saudi Arabia. One student was so busy carving his pumpkin that he seemed like a surgeon. Another student brought her small son to help. We shared candy, pretzels, and apple cider juice. At the end, we put small candles in our pumpkins and turned off the lights in the room. They looked so great all lit up! Some students took their creations back to their dorms or apartments to put outside for decoration.
Join us at A.C.E. at MSU and get involved in these activities and more!