By EMMA NORMAN – Studying abroad is an opportunity that very few students have the ability to do. Here at IHS, two students will be spending time abroad. Maggie Conjelko and Tyler Pruitt, sophomores at IHS, will be spending several months abroad.
Maggie Conjelko was eager to share about her trip to Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Conjelko stated, “I decided to go to Dushanbe Tajikistan because I saw it as a great opportunity for me. Being in high school, I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet so it’s a time where I am trying things out.”
She was offered a scholarship through a program called NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth). This program offers students scholarships to learn multiple unknown languages. Conjelko’s main focus of study will be learning the language of Persian, or specifically the Tajiki dialect.
Conjelko also stated, “I am really interested in language learning and linguistics, so I thought that this would be a great way to explore that area while I am still young and in high school. I decided to learn Persian because it stood out to me- I don’t even think that I had heard about Tajikistan before looking into this scholarship. A lot of the other languages that they offer aren’t commonly taught in schools, but there are a lot more resources there. I am already learning Spanish which is very widely spoken, so I was eager to learn something new.”
Conjelko will leave for Tajikistan in late June and will return in early August.
Tyler Pruitt, who is also a sophomore at IHS, will be spending an entire year in Germany. Pruitt stated, “I wanted to go to Germany because I’ve spoken German for a very long time; it seems as a nice way for me to be able to exercise my abilities to the max as well as form new, meaningful relationships with people in another country. Speaking two languages and being able to understand an increased amount of people is something incomparable to experience.”
Pruitt applied to a program known as CBYX Scholarship Program (Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange). His specific scholarship only applies to Germany.
Pruitt’s main focus throughout the year will be to study the culture itself. He stated, “My main focus next year isn’t to study at all; rather, it’s to ingratiate myself into the German culture and experience what it’s like to be a German citizen.”
Pruitt leaves for Germany in August of 2018 and will return in June of 2019.
Programs such as these are hard to get into, which makes these opportunities an incredible achievement for both Tyler Pruitt and Maggie Conjelko.
[Photo by Emma Norman]
Photo Caption: “Sophomores Maggie Conjelko and Tyler Pruitt gather for a photo.”