Monday, July 28, 2014

Many Languages, One World

 By Collin Savage '16 

I was hired recently as a co-facilitator for the Many Languages One World conference with the United Nations Academic Impact. Participants were university students chosen from across the globe, ten students for each of the six official UN languages. The students were to make presentations on the promotion and importance of education and how to better the world through education. They were also to give these presentations in the UN General Assembly. Here's the catch- the languages of the presentation could not be the native or institutional languages of the participants.

I was working with the French-speaking group, whose participants came from Tunisia, Spain, Germany, the Philippines, South Africa, the US, and England. The lead facilitator was also from the US. I met them one by one as their flights arrived, and the conversations picked up- conversations that ran in over 5 languages.

The presentations by all groups were great on every account, but what struck me the most was how everyone acted off stage. Conversations were jump-in-jump-out between everyone, no longer divided by their groups. The conversations ranged from movies to dances to studies to international accomplishments and goals. Some members shared pictures of their children, all shared cultural tidbits and fun facts, and everyone honestly enjoyed hearing about the lives of everyone else. They loved the multicultural experiences, and they loved hearing new ideas. They ran around NYC like kids on a playground, and they enjoyed their time together. Not a single person was restrained by a linguistic boundary, and if someone noticed that a certain language was more difficult for a member of the conversation, the language just switched to be more fitting for all participants. They loved being with other cultures, and they all had a great wanderlust. Everyone was equal, no matter their background. Everyone was another human that wanted to do good in the world. I honestly felt like I was in a larger version of LGS.

At the end of the conference, everyone was in tears and hugging each other as if they had known each other for years, when in reality is was four days. I've been keeping in contact with some friends I made there. A Nigerian girl living in Spain is now going to study abroad in Germany. A Tunisian just got an internship in Belgrade thanks to her English. A Pilipino is helping French-speaking ambassadors and tourists move around his home country while also trying to raise the standard of living and education there. Another student has been studying here in Washington and is now moving around to so many countries helping and working in healthcare that I don't think anyone nationality would be fitting, just a mélange of them all.

It's fantastic to know all of these people. They are making their marks on the world and trying their absolute best to make it a better place. I even heard a few of them using the line, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Working with and knowing people who make that much of an effort to change the world instead of just complaining is amazing, and I hope to put my own ripple in the world someday. It's one thing to study and talk about changing the world, but actually seeing it happen is something completely different, and it's given me that much more inspiration and hope.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Water Cooler with Dr. London

The LGS program recently hosted an informal discussion with Professor Douglas London from the Anthropology Department. This conversation is part of LGS' on-going Water Cooler series. The "Water Cooler" series is an opportunity for students to get to know their professors outside of the classroom, and participate in meaningful discussion of various topics!

This particular discussion, with Professor Douglas London, focused on international aid, specifically how to get a job in the field of international development. Professor London has an extensive resume within the field and it was inspiring to hear his first-hand accounts of the good and the bad aspects of working in international development.

Professor London with his host family in Guatemala

Professor London spoke about how his time abroad, in high school and college, inspired him to do work abroad in the field of nutrition. He participated in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, and since then has been highly involved in international aid and development projects in Angola and Latin America. The keys to getting a job in this area, Professor London stated, is to participate in an internship, learn a language, form connections, and spend as much time abroad as you can. While abroad, London advises interacting with the local population as much as possible, advocating living with a host family in order to fully immerse yourself in the local culture.

In the fall, Professor London will be teaching a course in the LGS program entitled The Developing World: Culture, Conflict, and Changes. This summer he is going to take a group of ten students to Guatemala to do anthropology work on the field in what he calls "the heart of Mayan culture."

Friday, March 14, 2014

EU Enlargement - National, Regional and Global Impact

Ambassador Vladimir DrobnjakVladimir Drobnjak, the Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations, came to Adelphi on March 12th to discuss EU enlargement in light of the recent events in Ukraine. Ambassador Drobnjak explained that the wish to join the EU is still growing, with five current candidate countries (Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, and Iceland) applying to be a part of the European Union, and Croatia having become a member in July of 2013.

The European Union is the "most stable and peaceful place on the planet" stated Ambassador Drobnjak, who noted how revolutionary the EU was at its founding by bringing former enemies (Germany and France) together in order to avoid the possibility of another catastrophic war. With tensions in the Crimea region of Ukraine growing, however, Ambassador Drobnjak emphasized the importance of national, regional, and global cooperation to avoid further escalation of the conflict.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Interested in Learning More About the UN In Real-Time??

If you're looking for ways to stay up-to-date with global events, there are numerous platforms you can use to stay tuned with the United Nations online. Here is a multimedia guide to the UN:

You can visit the United Nations' official Facebook page here to view articles, photos, events, and much more. 

For a comprehensive list of ways to connect with the United Nations through mediums like Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, etc, please visit
Languages other than English are also available. 

Here are links to other platforms:
(Click on the name to be sent to the corresponding website)

Friday, February 28, 2014

LGS Around the World

This year, LGS has had students study in 6 of the 7 continents—all except Antarctica!

Natnael Petros '15 in Rabat, Morocco

Anh Nguyen '15 in Paris, France

 Catherine Xie '15 in China

 Sarah Cinquemani '15 in Australia

Romina Perino '16 in Argentina

Friday, February 21, 2014

“There’s big ships, there’s small ships, but the best ships are friendships!”

Written by Megan Murphy '15

This Semester at Sea saying was shared with me on New Year’s Day 2014 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Puerto Vallarta was the second to last port during my voyage and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my experience. This past December, I embarked on a voyage which would change my perspective on life.

Along with other students from Adelphi’s Derner Institute, I boarded the MV Explorer, a cruise ship we would call home for the next 15 days, to study Child Behavior from a Multicultural Perspective. We cruised from Nassau, Bahamas to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In the DR we visited the Manny Mota Foundation. We learned about Save The Children, and how that organization works with the Manny Mota Foundation. We concluded our visit by playing baseball with the kids.

Our next port of call was Cartagena, Colombia. The Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar foundation displayed how different cultures view teen pregnancy and how effective interventions better the community. On Christmas Eve we traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific, through the Panama Canal. The transit took 9 hours. After class, we spent the entire day going through the historic locks in close to 100° F heat.

Costa Rica was our next stop. In  Puntarenas, we visited Hogar Cristiano.  This was an orphanage for children who came from abusive homes or suffered abandonment. We spent the entire day with the children, playing games and painting the buildings.

Guatemala was my favorite port. We visited the El Rodeo School. This school was very small and educated extremely poor children. We taught them American songs and visited their classrooms. Afterward, some of us went to Antigua, the second oldest city in Guatemala. We shopped and explored before getting back on the ship.

Finally Mexico was our last stop for two ports, Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada. I met many people who were on this voyage after experiencing a full Semester at Sea, as well as students from other universities. I also met new friends from Adelphi who I never thought I would click with. We did more shopping, plenty of eating, singing and running around Mexico.

If you’re not sure what country you want to experience for study abroad, consider Semester at Sea! You visit many countries in a short period of time, while living on a cruise ship and experiencing many different cultures. I am so grateful that Semester At Sea was my first experience abroad, and cannot wait to continue traveling.

Live Tweeting @ the UN

Written by Ammie Lin '14

It’s always an exciting trip to the UN Headquarters with fellow LGS peers, whether it’s your first or fifth time.  On Friday, February 7, we attended UNA-USA Members' Day and the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, themed “The United Nations: Building Peace in an Age of Upheaval.”  Since this Conference wasn’t the most interactive, I took the opportunity to be an active participant via social media. 

Since becoming a Youth Delegate to the American Association of University Women last September, I learned just how effective hashtags, retweeting, and following can be in the Twitter world.  By tweeting about speakers and their remarks on the UN, US, and peace, I gained over 20 followers that day.  I also engaged in conversations with other attendees of the Conference via Twitter. 

I was especially thrilled to see Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division at the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).  He announced that the 65th UN DPI/NGO Conference will be held in NY, August 27-29 this year.  As the Communications Chair of the UN DPI/NGO Youth Representatives, I immediately shared the news via Twitter in hopes of increasing awareness of the Youth Representative’s existence and presence at the Conference.

Although Twitter is well known for celebrity news, it can also be used to bring about social awareness and change.  By increasing my Twitter followers and social influence, I am also building my own support network for future issues that I may tweet about.