Not sure what program is right for you? Click Here

© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Study Abroad in

Back to Program Back to Blog Home

« Fall-October 2016 | Main | SPRING 2017, ISSUE I »


Aisha's Language Practice Hub


My experience with the language hub has helped me advance my spoken Arabic and make new meaningful friendships outside of the international school. In weekly meetings with my partner, we start with suggested topics and adapt our conversation to gaps we discover in our vocabulary or grammar. For example, when we were taking turns talking about our families and where we come from, I realized I was having some trouble with numbers when trying to describe my parent's ages, and with colors when trying to describe my sister's hair. So, my partner taught me the words, and asked me questions to prompt responses using the new words I'd learned. We also use our conversation time to talk about cultural differences. When we were discussing our universities and fields of study, we started talking about the difference in teaching styles and class sizes, and I explained some of the complexities in the American higher education system, like rising tuition costs, work-study and federal student loan programs. She was so surprised to hear how much my public university tuition is compared to her tuition here at the University of Haifa, and asked me how American students ever pay back their debt. When she was talking about where she was from, I asked her about the divisions or tensions between students from Arab neighborhoods, Druze villages, or Jewish areas. We've never had to try very hard to discuss more difficult sociopolitical things. There is a lot of mutual curiosity, good intention and vulnerability in this kind of a partnership. My partner has become a very close friend, and someone I can turn to to ask sensitive questions about Arab culture when I am curious about something I see or read. She can teach me things I can't really learn in the classroom, both about Arab culture and about the Arabic language. The word choices and cadence used by young people are very different than the language used in the classroom - even when we are being taught "colloquial" Arabic. It's also very helpful to have a 'voice model' of sorts. I ask her to pronounce words I've already learned, I listen carefully, and repeat them back until they sound natural, like her. The language hub has been such a valuable experience. I've learned a great deal, stretched my comfort zone, and gained a true friend. I would definitely recommend it to any international student trying to learn a language!


Christen Scalfano, CIEE Haifa Fall 2016

College of William & Mary '18 | International Relations



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

West-line Studio is based in Guiyang, Guizhou province, in South-West China, and exclusively works in this region, characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit, team-work across expertise areas and new ways of approaching conventional tasks. We believe in the magical ability of architecture to preserve, transform, and intensify the essential qualities of places and human experience. We believe in Real Dreams, and we will make the world a better place than when we found it.

If you want to be a part of West-line Studio, please send your resume, two writing samples, and portfolio in PDF format (no larger than 6MB) to, and indicate the position you are applying for in the subject.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment