“All Are Welcome in This Place”
INTERLINK partner institutions are closely monitoring the implications of the January 27 Executive Order and will respond as needs indicate.
As ever, INTERLINK instructors sensitively and thoughtfully work with their students and welcome private or class discussion about their worlds, their perspectives, and their feelings. Directors and other center staff are prepared to listen closely to students and to respond actively to applicants. Similarly, alumni are urged to contact the director of the center they attended as they have need or have the ability to be helpful to students.
While INTERLINK partner universities are long attuned and responsive to the student experience, now their actions are heightened. University students, faculty, and administrators are taking steps to safeguard students’ rights, their privacy, and their well-being.
Statements to university communities have been made all across the United States. Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler’s January 30 letter to his university community is representative of hundreds. It is succinct, heartfelt, eloquent, and strong. INTERLINK applauds this statement and wishes to share it with all those believing in the family of humankind. With them, we are committed to the service of others wherever they may be in today’s increasingly interdependent world.
INTERLINK Language Centers
INTERLINK at ISU Hosts Proyecta 100,000 Students
Sixteen students from Puebla, Mexico studied at the INTERLINK Language Center at Indiana State University for four weeks in the Fall of 2014. They were participating in the Proyecta 100,000 scholarship program sponsored by the Mexican government. During their time at INTERLINK center they participated in many activities including: two public school visits, a symphony concert, an overnight volunteer trip, a community holiday event, a gingerbread house competition, a Latin dance night, and a goodbye potluck party. This photo montage was created to document their time at INTERLINK and was presented at their completion certificate ceremony.
When Note arrived in the U.S. in 2012, he needed to boost his English skills before entering Indiana State University’s music program. Over the course of a year at INTERLINK, he learned the academic, linguistic, and cross-cultural skills needed to be successful at the university. While at INTERLINK, people gravitated toward Note because of his genuine character. He is the type of student every teacher hopes for: motivated, hard working, and compassionate.
Paula Meyer of ISU’s Communications and Marketing Department writes about Note’s contribution to ISU:
Music tour of Thailand is a both a homecoming and a trip of a lifetime
Source: ISU Newsroom
Published: June 26th, 2014
Patommavat Thammachard is going home.
Known simply as “Note” by friends and faculty at Indiana State University’s School of Music, the native of the Thai beach resort town of Hua Hin, is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Indiana State in guitar performance. The 24-year-old is looking forward to introducing his classmates to his homeland, its people and traditional Thai music this summer as part of a three-week experience in Thailand, where they will conduct percussion clinics, perform and participate in an international conference.
“They will learn a lot about Thai culture because we will go to many places in Thailand,” he said. “I feel really fortunate to go back home and see my family and to perform with the percussion ensemble.”
But while it is a visit home for the graduate student, it is also a trip of a lifetime for the eight student members of Indiana State’s percussion ensemble.
The students, accompanied by music professors Brian Kilp and Jimmy Finnie, will leave July 8 for a performance and total-immersion experience.
Having Note’s tie to the area also comes in handy.
“He’s a built in tour guide and translator,” Finnie said joked. “In reality, he’s a major part of the program. He’s an incredible player.”
Note started playing the guitar at 14, influenced by his father.
“He is a guitarist. I started playing guitar to be like my dad and because I enjoyed rock music.”
The trip will be a busy one, according to Finnie.
After arriving in Bangkok, the group will engage in cultural activities as guests of Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. The ensemble will perform at the Thailand Navy School and conduct clinics with local high school students before departing for a five-day residency at Chiang Mai Rajabaht University.
“At Chiang Mai, their music faculty will teach our students Thai traditional music,” he said. “When our students return to campus this fall, they will showcase what they learned through demonstrations or performances of Thai traditional music.”
The group will go back to Bangkok to continue working with high school students before ending their visit with a 90 minute performance at the Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference on July 26.
“It was an invited performance,” Finnie said. “Providing a high quality performance that represents the university well has been our motivation for the past nine months as we practiced and prepared.”
Note said the ensemble’s performances will be different from what Thai listeners have experienced.
“The concert will cover many style like classical, Jazz, contemporary, and modern,” he said. “I just want the audiences to have great musical experience.”
The ensemble will perform a familiar work during their trip, the Thai king composition “Near Dawn.” ISU music faculty member Daniel Powers orchestrated a special arrangement of the piece for this trip.
“This song is a Thai favorite,” Note said. “I hope the audiences will like our new arrangement. ”
The visit is eerily similar to how Note found his way to the Terre Haute campus.
“Indiana State and my university in Thailand have a strong connection. ISU sent students and faculty members to share the musical experience with us. I always participated in those activities,” Note said. “Dr. Kilp introduced me to ISU, giving me all the information I needed to prepare for my master’s on campus.”
In addition to his master’s studies, Note also teaches young students enrolled in the Guitar Club through Indiana State’s Community School of the Arts.
“The best part of teaching the Guitar Club is putting a lot of people who love guitar together and learning each other’s style,” he said. “I can also practice and improve my teaching skills.”
The trip is about much more than music. It’s about personal growth and respect.
“Most of my students are from rural areas and it’s their first trip outside the States, so this is going to very eye-opening,” Finnie said.
“Just to see a culture that is different than ours. The growth is beyond musical knowledge. I want them to have greater respect for cultures other than their own.”
It also presents an opportunity to see a major political upheaval and possibly history in the making.
“To see the concern of the Thai people and learning why they’re concerned is an opportunity for growth. But only if it’s safe.”
The contingent, funded by the School of Music, Office of International Programs and Services and the Center for Student Research and Creativity, will log more than 17,000 miles roundtrip.
Conversation Partners: Special Edition! INTERLINK at ISU students visit the Assisted Living Home Bethesda Gardens
Retirees have time to spare, while our ESL students need some practice listening and speaking with native English speakers. So, we paired the two up for a Conversation Partners : Special Edition!
Resident Bill Dunn enjoyed his conversation with students from INTERLINK Language Center @ Indiana State University.
On June 9th, eleven INTERLINK Language Center students from the Indiana State University campus went to Bethesda Gardens in Terre Haute, Indiana, to converse with retirees.
The students shared freshly made cookies as well as their life stories with Bethesda residents. The residents were elated that international students wanted to hear about their lives. Some were educated on current events around the world, while others educated the students about life.
Resident Penny stated, “I had no idea about all the progress happening in Saudi Arabia. This intelligent young man (Mohammad Alkurbi) has taught me so much!”
Student Lucas Rodrigues found inspiration after talking with resident, Hope. “Her story was so moving. I will never forget her because she gave me hope in this world,” Rodrigues told the student group while leaving the facility.
Student Sanghee Kwong is interested in learning about retiree and assisted living homes. She asked many questions about the social impact the facility, and others like it, has on its residents. She compared the conditions in her home country of South Korea to what is available in the U.S.
Activities Director Daphne Newport requested that INTERLINK continue to bring students to converse with the residents after seeing her group react positively to the international students.
Jordanian student a published author at 15
By Doris Brogan
Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 16:04
This is the first in a series of articles featuring international students at Richland.
There are 109 different countries represented on this campus and at least 79 different languages spoken. The Chronicle would like to acknowledge and celebrate Richland’s unique and rich diversity.
Richland student Fuad Banisalameh, a 19-year-old from Zarqa, Jordan was already a published author in his native Jordan when he enrolled at Richland to pursue a degree in engineering.
Banisalameh was only 15 when he wrote his novel, “The Cold Walls.” He then had to convince the Ministry of Culture that he was indeed the author of the novel before it could be considered for publication.
Book publishing in Jordan is handled much differently than in the United States. All book publications must be approved by the Ministry of Culture in Amman, Jordan. In Banisalameh’s case, the Ministry of Culture was reluctant to believe the author of the novel was a mere 15-year-old boy. Banisalameh’s father, who was working in Kuwait at the time, called the Ministry of Culture and convinced them to meet with his son in an effort to get the work published. The ministry agreed to meet with him, so he traveled to Amman to present his case.
The ministers initially greeted him with skepticism. “A group of trained writers who had read the novel refused to believe it was written by a 15-year-old,” Banisalameh said. “They felt the plot was too well-developed for such a young author.” After meeting with ministers for an hour and a half, Banisalameh prevailed and convinced them to allow his book to be published. They advanced him money to help cover the cost of printing 1,000 copies of the novel. According to Banisalameh, the 168-page novel “… was described by the Ministry of Culture as one of the most interesting works they’ve ever read. It’s the thing that makes me most proud of this work.”
In some ways, Banisalameh’s publication struggle mirrored the struggles of his hero in “The Cold Walls.” The story is set in Paris at the beginning of the 19th century. The misery of poverty is widespread and Redick, the main character, is a 12-year-old homeless boy. The proprietor of a homeless shelter finds him hungry and exposed to the elements in front of cold walls that offer no comfort.
The kindly man adopts Redick and provides a warm home and education for him. Jealousy ensues. Redick’s adoptive father is killed and Redick subsequently finds himself accused of the theft of an expensive watch and is sent to prison. Upon his release, he cannot return to school or find a job because no one will believe in his innocence. He ends up back on the cruel, cold streets where he was found 15 years earlier and dies from hunger and exposure in front of the same cold walls. Fortunately, Banisalameh’s story had a happier outcome than that of his hero.
“The Cold Walls” was written during the 14 days between the fall and spring semesters of school. He spent 14 to 18 hours each day working on the novel that he had been developing in his mind for a month prior to the commencement of the writing.
Banisalameh regrets that the book isn’t yet translated into any other languages. “I dream one day to be able to translate it into English,” though he went on to say, “In my opinion, Arabic is more interesting than English … it is a flowery language and any imagery a man may imagine can be described in Arabic in a very eloquent way.”
Banisalameh’s family supported him in his literary pursuits when he first started writing Arabic poetry at the age of 12. They were very supportive when he began writing the book, and were extremely proud of his accomplishment when his novel was cleared for publication.
Banisalameh said he came to Richland by way of Indiana State University where he was enrolled in the Interlink Language Center for eight months to study English to augment the 12 years of English instruction he received in Jordan. Even though English is a required subject in the Jordanian school system, it is taught in Arabic by Jordanian teachers, so apparently the curriculum is weak and focuses on reading comprehension and grammar, not the spoken language.
Banisalameh is continuing his literary pursuits in the U. S. by writing poetry, sonnets to be specific. And more impressively, he’s writing them in English. He doesn’t have any plans to write another novel right now. “These days I am trying as much as I can to focus on studying more than enjoying any other activities,” he said.
He is the oldest of four children. He has one brother and two sisters who live with his mother in Zarqa, Jordan, which is 25 kilometers northeast of Amman.
See more at http://www.richlandchronicle.com
Rio de Janeiro to the Rio Wabash: BSMP Engineering Students Arrive from Brazil
July 1, 2015
Written by Lisa Hathaway, ISU Student Assistant
The Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) is a year-long, non-degree program for Brazilian students to study abroad in the United States. BSMP comprises part of the Brazilian government’s larger initiative to grant 100,000 Brazilian university students the opportunity to study abroad at the world’s best schools. What an honor for our center to host 16 of these wonderful students! Fabio Augusto Barcelos Teixeira explained that he felt right at home and extremely normal. He experienced little homesickness and culture shock. Haroldo felt the same, “It’s not so different from Brazil. I like it here.” Haroldo Nunes De Madureira Filho also tells that he has never attended a school with so many international students. “I was, like, yay!” exclaimed Guilherme Henrique De Vasconcelos Moitas with a chuckle, “I have a new life…but I also feel alone. I am alone. I came here with these guys, but still, I am alone.” Guilherme thoroughly enjoys the peace and quiet of Indiana.
How English Connects to Their Field
The BSMP highlights science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Guilherme is studying control in automation. He explains that English is important for all fields, “it’s a universal language.” Haroldo majors in mechanical engineering. English provides the opportunity to get better jobs. Countries can communicate more thoroughly in English. Also a major in control and automation, Fabio expounds on the universal language idea: “Everything is in English. All the books and manuals, even in Japan, come in English. Knowing another language gives a different way to solve problems […] Brazil needs that. Brazil needs to produce, to be ahead.”
Ideas for the Present and for the Future
While in America, Haroldo wants “to improve English, know a lot of great people, and to improve myself.” Upon returning to Brazil, Haroldo may become a professor, but definitely aspires to open his own business.
Fabio wants to get to familiarize himself with a larger university. Primarily, though, he yearns to know a culture that is patriotic, a culture that believes in itself. “If I know the American culture, I will know where to improve. I want to make a better Brazil.”
“I want to absorb everything, I want to love every moment while I am here,” Guilherme stated. He plans to take advantage of this marvelous opportunity. When he gets home he will resume his internship position. “I will use everything I have learned here.”
South America just lost some wonderful people for the next year. These 16 young men will do wonderfully.