Essay Example on Swahili language Study

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As a Boren Fellow I would like to pursue the combination of language study and overseas academic internship for one year I will begin my Swahili language study in June of 2018 at the University of Florida in the African Flagship Languages Initiative AFLI summer program AFLI offers intensive summer sessions of the Swahili language at the beginning intermediate and advanced levels and workshops for teaching best practices and newly developed language learning tools The summer program consists of 20 hours of classroom instruction per week and a homestay with an African family for one weekend From August 2018 to November 2018 I will study Swahili at the Training Centre for Development Cooperation in Eastern and Southern Africa MS TCDC located in Arusha Tanzania MS TCDC offers an intensive Swahili program that provides 20 hours of language instruction per week focusing on grammar conversation history and culture Classes are small with multiple individual tutorials and approximately four hours per week of work with a language partner There will be regular assignments outside of class bi weekly trips to cultural and historic sites and meetings with guest speakers


The program emphasizes connecting with the local community and self driven language learning therefore I will be living with a host family and immersed in the Swahili language From December 2018 to March 2019 I will continue studying Swahili at MS TCDC while simultaneously interning at a local organization I propose interning with the Tanzania National Resource Forum TNRF in Arusha to complement my language training TNRF aims to improve the management of Tanzania's natural resources focusing on management of forestry rangelands wildlife and fisheries at the country and community level with the ultimate goal to develop sustainable practices that support the livelihoods of Tanzanians TNRF s programs seek to strengthen dialogue between civil society government and private sector stakeholders create opportunities for knowledge and information exchange and build advocacy platforms for citizens Many of TNRF s members are local civil society organizations and experts on resource management conservation and sustainable economic development At TNRF I want to take part in its multifaceted approach in addressing issues of resource management Being a part of this organization would not only allow me to speak Swahili daily but also develop an understanding of organizations and culture in Tanzania This cultural and linguistic immersion would be crucial to fulfilling my goal of becoming an expert in African affairs specialist I plan to reach advanced level proficiency in Swahili during my time as a Boren Fellow My goal is to pass the advanced Swahili language proficiency exam offered by the American Council for International Education Unfortunately Swahili was not offered at my undergraduate or graduate institution and therefore I was limited to opportunities outside of the academic sphere to learn the language However I studied Spanish at the university and high school level in addition to linguistic immersion while studying in Barcelona Spain for four months in undergraduate school In Barcelona I pursued various opportunities to bolster my understanding of the Spanish language including volunteering at the local library and playing recreational soccer I learned to proactively involve myself with the community to fully engage in the culture and language of the country These language skills have carried over into my professional work where part of my job at the U S Department of State is to translate documents from Spanish to English These experiences taught me language learning best practices and how to continue utilizing language skills long term

Currently I am studying Swahili through a beginner s level course with 30 hours of instruction offered through the Foreign Service Institute In addition my fellow George Washington University classmate who is Tanzanian and a native Swahili speaker is tutoring me I hope that my intensive training at the University of Florida and MS TCDC as well as work in a professional setting with TNRF will help me attain an advanced working level proficiency in Swahili After finishing my Boren Fellowship in Arusha I plan on retaining my language skills through classes offered by local organizations like the Global Language Network participating in events with native speakers from Tanzania hosted by organizations like the Wilson Center Africa Program and self preparation for the advanced level Swahili proficiency exam offered by the American Council of International Education Furthermore I intend to work within the African Affairs Bureau either at the U S Department of State or the U S Agency for International Development Working in a regional bureau will be an opportunity to utilize the language skills and regional knowledge I have gained as a Boren Fellow and better serve the U S government as a long term civil servant within the foreign policy field My professional experience studies in international affairs and in country experience will be valuable in advancing U S foreign policy objectives and building sustainable partnerships in Africa as I will have linguistic proficiency in both formal and informal Swahili

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