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Exposure to American Culture

Most of the students in our program are here on a scholarship from the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation and are in the United States for the first time.  These students have seen many American movies, speak excellent English, and know all the greatest pop hits.   As part of this program, we strive to give students an authentic American experience.  Something that is a little more mundane than the movies portray.  From other blogs, you know that those experiences include trips to the mall, Target, and learning all about baseball.  In addition to the fun trips we plan, the Baltic students have another way to learning about American culture, directly from our four American students.

Andre, Giridhar (G), Janny, and Zenayah come to the Portland Global program from all of the US.  They bring great energy and intellect to all of our experiences and are able to share their perspectives with the group.  These 4 students come from diverse backgrounds and showcase many different aspects of US culture.

Andre comes to the program from Andover, Massachusetts.  He is passionate about sports, clothing, and NBA 2K17.  He is also proud of his eclectic sock collection. He was born in Brazil and speaks Portuguese.  He has a talent for specialized lettering and caricatures.  His team recognize his out-of-the-box ideas and creativity.  In class he is a thoughtful listener and works well as a member of the group.

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Janny traveled across the country from Portland, Oregon.  She is a talented artist and animator with aspirations to study psychology.  She speaks Cantonese, has been to Cambodia, and is currently studying the language and culture of Korea.  She is also learning how to play the ukulele. As a student, Janny has fun and innovative ideas.  She encourages those around her and is willing to try new experiences.

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Zenayah made the short trip from New York City to join our program.  Zenayah is our youngest participant, but that doesn't stop her from inspiring all of our participants.  Not only is she at the top of her class, she spends her Saturdays taking classes at Columbia University studying law.  In class, Zenayah asks thoughtful questions and has a special talent for keeping others on task as well as creating group harmony.  Skills that will serve her well in her future career as a lawyer.  Aside from classwork, she is also passionate about dance.

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Giridhar, referred to as G by everyone, traveled from Greenville, South Carolina.  G has shared not only Southern, but also Indian culture. He is an excellent student and studies at an IB school.  In his free time he is passionate about business and works in his fathers restaurant developing their social media campaign. He also excells in ping pong and plays tennis at his school.  In class we can count on G to keep things light and fun.  He focuses on practical solutions with creative spins.
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In a few short days we will have to say goodbye to all of our students.  The sense of community that all 34 have created will leave a lasting impact on all of us.  All future students have big shoes to fill.

-Courtney

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