Internships are considered by many UB students to be a necessary component of their education that gives them an edge in their future careers. Realizing this, Prof. Maureen Jameson, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, is creating opportunities for humanities students to explore ways to apply their skills. “Because we’re in the liberal arts…I really wanted to enable [students] to realize that they brought to a community project a skill that they had acquired through their language study,” she explains.
To enrich students’ experiences, Maureen developed a course to start this fall, RLL 496, that would “give the students a light smattering of exposure to the discipline of teaching English to speakers of other languages.” She worked with Journey’s End, a refugee resettlement non-profit in Buffalo, to find clients her students could work with and tutor in English. Her students were able to meet with their clients for the first time in late September.
She’s also hoping that this experience, in which many of the students will be teaching clients in their own homes, will give her students a glimpse into the lives of refugees here in Buffalo and the challenges they face, as well as the impacts of policy decisions on real people. Through this credit-based opportunity, Maureen hopes that her students will show these refugee families that they’re welcome here, and that the students will also see what unique skills they have to offer.
The Experiential Learning Network is here to support courses like this one that offer students opportunities to develop and realize their skills in a real life setting. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about ideas and how to develop courses and other opportunities with hands-on learning!
Written by Amanda Hellwig '19