Thirty years ago, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall opened and the Cold War ended. Waldsee Dean Dan Hamilton lived in Berlin at that time. He recalls what happened that day, reflects on the dreams of an undivided Europe that accompanied the revolutions of 1989, and discusses why Europe today seems to be more fractured and anxious than whole and free.
At age 16, Katrina Cubanski played host to a group of foreign exchange students from Saint Petersburg, Russia. While she was prepared for culture shock, what really took her by surprise is how much she and her visitors had in common.
What is peace, really? This week, Dave Oprava discusses peace as freedom from fear, and how we overcome fear of the unknown by forming connections with those who are different from us.
Once the richest silver mining city in the world, Guanajuato–now a UNESCO World Heritage Site—still dazzles. It is also the site of the first pitched battle in Mexico’s War of Independence, fought 109 years ago this month.
Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of the Alliance for International Exchange, discusses the effects of having young adults from around the world come to the U.S. every summer to work as camp counselors. These exchange visitors strengthen international relations, boost the U.S. economy, and share their cultural knowledge with camps across America.
David Dietrich Oprava introduces the Dietrich Fellowship, an opportunity for a current Concordia Language Villages staff member to go on an around-the-world adventure and bring that experience back to their Village.
Impoverished, multilingual communities are often associated with urban areas; however, Morgan Abate knows first-hand that these communities are rapidly growing in suburbia. To effectively support these communities, nonprofit organizations need to prioritize language and cultural skills within their teams.
Throughout the summer, the Concordia Language Villages team will be reviewing books from the New York Times’ list of “Globetrotting” new releases in 2019. This week, we review Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Let’s Tell This Story Properly and Humayun Azad’s I Remember Abbu.
This week, John Davis takes usto Warsaw, Poland, and into the mysterious Wen Club: a regular gathering of English speakers and learners that outlasted the Communist government and its interdictions against all things Western.
Gianmarco Zuccaroli, a sixteen-year-old Italian student from Rome, discusses the recent history of the voting age in the U.S. and Europe, and why he supports the EU’s recommendation that member states lower the age of enfranchisement to 16.
Global experiences spring from personal connections. El Lago del Bosque counselor Rachel Schaefer shares with us how the people in her life have inspired and enabled her to explore the world.
This week, John Davis regales us with stories from the Gray Fox: Brother Paul Schneider, whose skill in Spanish took him across the diverse and fascinating landscapes of Peru.
There’s much more to Asia than can be covered in a minute, but Curtis S. Chin is on a mission: to present the diversity of dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region one minute at a time. This week, Curtis provides a glimpse into different facets of Asia through his informative YouTube channel, “Asia Minute with Curtis S. Chan.”
What does courage mean in Togo? David Horner-Ibler, a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer, shares how his Togolese friends use the expression du courage to acknowledge the determination it takes to get through every day.
On the 74th anniversary of the opening and dissolution of Auschwitz by Russian troops, Alex Treitler considers the history of Waldsee, both as a euphemism for the death camp and as a place of learning and growth in the woods of Minesota. With such a weight of association, the Waldsee of today must strive to dispel ignorance and create a brighter, more complex future.
Courage is a powerful word, which shouldn’t be used lightly. This week, Skogfjorden dean Tove Dahl discusses why the word courage is so important and how we can use it to acknowledge acts of confronting substantial risk in pursuit of a noble goal.
Across languages and within cultures, we send you inspirational thoughts in our 15 world languages as we celebrate the holiday season.
Global citizens must engage with the political, cultural and social issues that transcend borders in our 21st Century society. Tomorrow, U.S. citizens have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to act on their beliefs and to vote. In honor of the occasion, we highlight Dan Hamilton’s recent opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle on the legacy of German Chanellor Angela Merkel. Dan Karl Hamilton is the dean of Waldsee, the German Language Village.
In 2017, two Sjölunden counselors from opposite ends of the political spectrum wrote WorldView Blog’s most shared post ever. One year later, we reconnect with Helena and Britta to learn more about their friendship and courageous conversations across ideological divides.
This week, the WorldView blog is proud to showcase Concordia Language Villages’ partnership with the Singita Grumeti Fund bringing English language immersion to students in Tanzania. Nicole Anderson, lead teacher, shares her experiences of teaching language and learning about conservation on the Serengeti.
The Concordia Language Villages team share fun holiday traditions from around the world.
Sometimes the holidays find us far from home, perhaps even in another country where our traditions and celebrations are foreign to our neighbors and friends. In this touching piece, freelance writer Michael Nevadomski shares his experience celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in Egypt.
Does the idea of travel or life abroad as a family sound a little daunting? Taking the leap to live in a new country with children is a powerful way to experience a culture and gain a new perspective on the world.
Positive solutions to complex issues start with good conversations. But what is a “good” conversation, and how do we help them to happen? At Concordia Language Villages, a simulation called the World Café allows staff members to practice honesty, vulnerability, and respect as they discuss global issues.
In this political climate, it’s easy to become obsessed with pointing out all the flaws of the ‘other side.’ Yet Helena and Britta from Sjölunden explore what happens when two people with different political views try being friends instead.
What would an English language immersion camp look like in Russia? Lara Ravitch and her team are on a mission to find out. Through an exchange with Forest Camp in Zadonsk, Russia, the staff of Lesnoe Ozero are working to improve the cultural experience for language immersion campers on both sides of the world.
Maybe working in a foreign country isn’t so foreign. Jackie Jacqueline Mauer shares her universal rules that have carried her, thus far, from a small town in the Midwest to rural Central America.
One of the best ways to learn language is engaging in informal, relaxed conversation with native speakers…a teaching technique employed in the Language Villages on a daily basis. This is great preparation for landing in a café in another part of the world. In this brief primer on traditional (and Westernizing) coffeehouse culture in Egypt, freelance journalist Michael Nevadomski explains coffee culture, Egyptian-style and his discovery of how the ahwa advanced his understanding of Arabic.
I have a secret. It is encoded in my language. It is an expression of who I am. It is an expression of where I come from. It is my culture.
My culture is the keeper of my heritage and serves as a personal compass, guiding who I am and who I can become. It is my home.
What’s in a name? As Juliet would remind us, a rose by any other name – ‘rosa,’ ‘méiguī,’ ‘rouzu’ – would smell as sweet. As part of the first-day activities at Concordia Language Villages, villagers and staff alike choose a name typical of the culture(s), adding to the sense of having crossed a border into a distinct and special place. And the names that villagers and staff members choose are, often, sweeter for the opportunities to grow that come with those new names.
“Language” is our middle name, but the real point of what we do as teachers and counselors at the Villages is to make villagers aware of themselves and their cultures, and then help them begin to grow into global citizens who are capable of deep other-awareness. That happens through language cultural immersion where language learning is the vehicle to explore new experiences, to expand your knowledge of the world, and to have fun.