Name: Sasha Nakae
Location of Study: New Dehli, India
Program of Study: UNC-Chapel Hill
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures
A brief personal bio:
My name is Sasha Nakae and I am a freshman planning to double major in business and theology. This is my first year studying Hindi, but I have had an interest in India since high school. Being from Marin, a very progressive part of California that draws it’s culture from the neighboring city of San Francisco, I am intrigued by the stark contrast of India’s deeply help values regarding tradition, religion, and family. This grant gives me the amazing opportunity to experience culture shock, and to become immersed in a radically different way of living and seeing the world.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
As a business and theology double major, I would like to someday use an understanding of language and culture to develop my intellectual pursuits alongside engagement with Indian society. I believe that a good understanding of Hindi would not only make me a better candidate for future internships, research and career pursuits, but also help me to be a more engaged and aware global citizen. I am incredibly grateful for my SLA grant because it will give an introduction to Hindi and Indian culture that I hope to grow into an interdisciplinary and long lasting academic study.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
As a result of this summer study abroad experience, I hope to come closer to my goal of fluency in Hindi. This trip will be a big first “stepping stone” towards achieving many of my future goals. With this grant, I will benefit from the opportunity to gain cultural awareness from meaningful encounters with people from all over India and the world. Further, I will practice valuable and practical application of the Hindi language in my exploration of transportation, diverse religious history, centuries old historic sites, and marketplaces. These experiences would further inspire my drive to develop my cultural and language skills so as to better communicate with the rich society I will be so fully immersed in.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to confidently and easily hold fundamental conversations with native Hindi speakers, such as giving and receiving directions, ordering food, and getting to know people
- At the end of the summer, I will have a greater proficiency at practical reading skills by applying my learning in coursework to signs, menus, and directions I see in my travels.
- At the end of the summer, I will gain a greater understanding of Indian culture, both in terms of ancient traditions and literature, and in how the country’s modernization affects journalism and media
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
Overall, living in cities like New Delhi and Hyderabad will provide a perfect blend of modern resources and linguistic challenges. Something I will be wary about is being too absorbed into my relationships with fellow Americans throughout the length of my trip. By constantly engaging with that source of comfort, I could miss out on opportunities to engage with the people and culture surrounding me. I believe in exploring and working together, but also in ambitiously seeking to be pushed out of my comfort zone to experience stress and discomfort, for I believe that in that intensity I will have invaluable room to grow as a person and in my studies.