August 27, 2014 - 12:00am
As a graduate student of contemporary Chinese literature, Jennifer Macasek needs to be able to read and analyze writings at an advanced level. She attended the Summer Intensive Language Program (SILP) at the Institute to meet her Chinese language goals.
The program offered many opportunities to not only learn Chinese in a formal classroom setting, but also to take field trips to learn more about Chinese history in the region. Students in the Chinese program went to Point Lobos to see an old Chinese fishing cottage and artifacts from the first families to fish in the Monterey Bay. Another memorable field trip was to Salinas where they explored one of the oldest Chinatowns in the country and met a man who is the de facto Chinese historian in the area.
Jennifer is from Pittsburgh, PA, but moved to California a year ago to pursue graduate work at the University of California Santa Cruz. In her studies, she is comparing urban and rural issues in English literature to urban and rural issues in contemporary Chinese literature.
As an avid language learner, she understands that the very best way to learn a language is to immersive yourself in it—which she has done in the past. But, as she says, "If for whatever reason you can't do that, I think this is by far the next best option in the U.S. to do such an intensive [language] program."
Click the image to watch her video, "The MIIS Experience in 60 Seconds."
"The MIIS Experience in 60 Seconds" features a different student each week from a range of degree programs offered at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. In these short videos, the students elaborate on topics such as why they chose to come to MIIS, what has surprised them about the Institute, what kinds of cool things they've been involved in—both on and off campus, and more.