By Rebekah Stein
It was a life changing summer for five of our TPA students as they participated in various language summer camps. These summer camps offer different comfort levels for students, whether you want to experience the residential lifestyle, attend an out-of-state camp, or day camps. No matter what type of camp, everyone came back with an appreciation for both the culture and the language.
Peter Surin and Nikki Everding participated in ASU’s Star Talk Chinese program, a two-week residential program where they experienced dorm life and engaged in the culture with intensive language learning and cultural activities. The opportunity to meet people with the same interests is great, according to Peter: “I met some people I really connected with – some of which I still talk to occasionally – and learned a lot about the language and the culture.”
ASU Star Talk also offers a Russian three-week day program. Freshman Sierra Smith and sophomore Eric Johnson participated in this program. It consists of intensive half-day sessions on campus, but you’re also able to “pair up virtually” to do projects with teachers and students in ASU’s summer program in Russian-speaking Kyrgyzstan.
Do you think you have to know a little of a language to go to camp? Just ask Clara Moffitt who knew zero French when she started her two-week immersion at the Concordia Language Camp in Minnesota. Clara left “not only knowing so much more, but I left with such a love for the language and a strong desire to become fluent.” Clara said you don’t even realize you’re learning a new language because all the activities are different every night. Concordia has various camp packages; while Clara took the two-week package, they also offer four-week packages.
So, while learning a new language in itself can be a bit stressful, taking it to the next level by going to a camp can be a life changer. The various styles of camps make finding one that’s perfect for you a piece of “gateau.” All of these camps have social media pages and offer many more languages than those listed above. Or if you see any of these students walking around campus, stop and ask them about their summer. I am sure they would love to tell you all about it.