Alumna shares experience

first_imgA recent Saint Mary’s alumna and Fulbright Scholar retuned to campus Thursday to discuss her time abroad in Asia in a presentation called “Take It With You When You Go: A Fulbright Journey.” Rachael Chesley received a degree in business administration with concentrations in management and international business from the College in 2011. She then lived and taught in Malaysia for 11 months with a Fulbright English teaching assistantship. “I loved my experiences abroad,” Chesley said. “I knew the Fulbright Scholarship was something that was for me and something that I’d enjoy.” Chesley said Sen. J. William Fulbright founded the Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, in 1946 to encourage mutual understanding and cultural exchange between countries. The program now operates in more than 155 countries, according to its web site. Chesley served as the student body president during her senior year at Saint Mary’s. She also studied abroad in Rome and Seoul, South Korea, while she was at Saint Mary’s. These months away from the United States shaped her decision to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship. Though Chesley said she was initially hesitant to apply for the program, her parents and professors gave her the push she needed to take the first step. “I thought, ‘There is no way I am going to get [the scholarship],’” she said. “But my mom and dad and professors encouraged me to apply, and then I earned it.” Although the application process was lengthy, Chesley said she wanted to remove herself from her comfort zone. “I knew I wanted an experience that allowed full immersion in a foreign environment with nothing familiar,” Chesley said. Chesley spent the duration of her scholarship living in the rural state of Terengganu, Malaysia, teaching English as a second language to students aged 12 to 18. Her town and school were located in the Muslim village of Besut near Thailand, she said. She said adapting to Muslim culture was challenging. “I learned a lot about Islam and found it so interesting,” she said. “But as a woman, it meant I had to adapt. I made sure I was covered at all times, especially my wrists and ankles. I would also always wear a scarf.” A native of Chicago, Chesley said her day-to-day experiences in Malaysia were significantly different than those she had known. “Things that were familiar were replaced by something completely different than something I had ever experienced,” she said. Chesley had to get used to new shopping and dining options, she said. “My Walmarts and Targets and Starbucks were replaced with local stalls, mom-and-pop shops and restaurants that had cats that became your friends,” Chesley said. Chesley said she was not fluent in Malay, Malaysia’s national language, when she arrived. She said she struggled to communicate with her students at first. “People in my school didn’t speak English, or were too scared to,” Chesley said. “As I spent more time there, I learned and spoke more Malay to them to build up some trust. It was an intercultural experience, so there’s going to be some frustrations sometimes.” Homesickness posed another challenge, Chesley said. Although she was used to having Internet access and a cell phone, she had to adjust to a quieter lifestyle in Malaysia because these tools were not always available. “I had to prevent my mind from wandering,” Chesley said. “It was a question of ‘How do you reinvent yourself somewhere else?’ I had to find new things to keep myself busy. One thing I did every day was write. I wrote a lot in journals and on my blog.” Chesley also occupied her free time by completing the projects and initiatives that are required of Fulbright Scholars. For one of her initiatives, Chesley said she turned to her hometown in the United States for help. “I spoke with one of my teachers from my local high school and we set up a pen pal program with my students,” she said. “At first, I thought it was a really bad idea because my kids didn’t understand the concept. It took five weeks to write and send that first letter.” However, Chesley said the results were impressive once the language barriers were knocked down. “It was so worthwhile when my students received those letters back,” she said. “We exchanged six letters total, and they were even published in one of the newspapers in Malaysia. My school was one of the low-performing schools in the country, and for my students to be recognized like that made me so proud of them.” Chesley, who completed the Fulbright Scholarship program a few months ago, said she is thankful for the experience despite its difficulties. “Perhaps the most rewarding part of an adventure is the aftermath,” she said, “when the traveler gains a new lens towards the way she sees and experiences the world.”last_img read more

UCL Preview: PSG, Real Madrid set to entertain, Manchester clubs face tricky tests

first_imgParis Saint-Germain have won five games on the trot, and will certainly send out more pure attacking talent than anyone Real Madrid’s faced this season. Headlining their attack are household names Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, who have six goals apiece this season. Zlatan, 34 now, is not the physical specimen he once was, but the man still holds his unreal ability to find the net from nearly anywhere. Meanwhile Cavani has taken a dip of form following an electric start to the season, having not scored since September.PSG’s midfield is really where their magic happens. With Matuidi, Motta, and Verratti, PSG’s had no problems creating chances (6 per match) for their targetmen. But PSG, too, felt the undying wrath of the international break, with Matuidi, Verratti, Angel Di María, and keeper Kevin Trapp all nursing injuries. Though the severity and duration of their players’ injuries pales in comparison to Real’s. Trapp will miss the match for certain, and the rest of them should be ready to go.Where to even start with Real Madrid’s injuries?Gareth Bale has been ruled out with a thigh injury. Luka Modrić and Karim Benzema are hopeful to play against PSG, but one could argue it might be better to let them take their time. Modrić and Benz are vital to Real Madrid, and to rush them back from muscle and hamstring injuries, respectively, would be short-sighted. Pepe and James are unlikely to make the trip.Sergio Ramos seems to be ready to go, so yay. Juventus vs. Borussia Monchengladach is indeed a top-of-the-table vs. bottom-of-the-table situation. And, for all intents and purposes, if Juventus do win on Wednesday night, they will be sitting pretty atop the group with nine points — exactly what you want after three Champions League group stage games and two of the next three away from home.That sounds like a pretty good spot to be in, doesn’t it?Easier said than done, sure, but as we have come to know about this version of Juventus, they certainly look the part when playing against European competition. That might not always be the case in Serie A — although Sunday’s derby draw was a step in the right direction — but it’s been true in the Champions League. They got the job done on the road at Manchester City. They dispatched of Sevilla rather easily, and now we look for them to get three more points at home against the only club in the group yet to win a game.Manchester City have the opportunity to move into the top two in Champions League Group D when they welcome Sevilla to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.City face the first of back-to-back Champions League fixtures against the La Liga side, but come into the game in excellent goalscoring form after hitting six past Newcastle and five past Bournemouth in their last two Premier League matches. Unai Emery’s Sevilla have failed to match the form that led to fifth place in La Liga last season, and currently have just nine points from their opening eight league games.Inconsistency has been their main concern, with impressive wins over Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach followed by disappointing performances against Celta Vigo and Eibar.On a sodden night in the Russian capital seven years ago, Rooney and his team-mates defeated Chelsea on penalties to clinch United’s third European Cup.The venue may be different – CSKA Moscow play in the Khimki Arena, not the Luzhniki Stadium – but the feeling of going back to Moscow remains the same for Rooney ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Group B encounter. The 29-year-old, speaking to the English press aboard United’s chartered flight east, recalled that night in Moscow with a warm smile.“It was the highlight of my career,” the striker said. “It is a massive competition to play in, to win the trophy it’s obviously great memories.”The Champions League has brought Rooney pain in his career too, including last year when he had to watch it from the sidelines because of United’s failure to qualify under former manager David Moyes.“We want to get back to winning trophies, of course. That is why you play football – to try and be successful, certainly at this club,” Rooney said. “In the last few years we haven’t been good enough.“There has been a big change in the club over the last few years and it’s now starting to settle back down into a good rhythm with what the manager wants from us and we are improving. “If we keep going the way we are, keep improving the way we are, then we will have a good chance of being successful.”Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is hoping to avoid another “horrible” night against United.The last time United came up against CSKA was six years ago. United won 1-0 in the Russian capital, but in the opposing fixture CSKA came within a whisker of recording a historic win.CSKA established a 3-1 lead over the hosts, but Paul Scholes pulled one back and Antonio Valencia scored in the 92nd minute to snatch a draw for the Red Devils. Catch all Champions League games and highlights from SuperSport today.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more