Unexpected Beautiful Experience

Written by Yassine Ben Abou, Arabic FLTA (2020-2021)

Yassine Ben Abou

The only thing that will never change is how fast time goes by no matter where you are on earth. It has been one year since I found out that I had won a Fulbright FLTA grant and would be spending this year in the U.S teaching Arabic. Now, it is hard to believe that I only have one more month to spend at Wesleyan. Even if the short period, it has been such a rewarding experience which I enjoyed to the fullest.

It is heartening to be given a chance to come and teach Arabic at this wonderful university. The students are very energetic, motivated and appreciative of the opportunity to study Arabic. Some of them seem to be quite in class, but there are many ways to get them to speak. In my classes and under these unusual circumstances, I tried to use as many EdTech tools and websites as I can. I just want my students to get involved and express themselves freely in Arabic. My experience in teaching Arabic at Wesleyan will surely broaden my perspective on how I teach in the U.S.

The first time I realized that I will move to the U.S and embark in a new journey was exciting but at the same terrifying. It is hard and sad to think that you won’t see your friends and family when moving to a foreign country for a while. It is also daunting when trying to adapt to a new place, making new friends in such unusual times and trying to navigate a new lifestyle. What is surprising, after spending few weeks here, I felt at home. What I like about being at Wesleyan is that everyone is willing to help even if you don’t know the person.

Needless to say, when travelling to a new environment everything is not that easy. You may unintentionally offend someone or make a fool of yourself.  Making mistakes is normal but you will surely grow accustomed. Never expect to live in your comfort zone, but, sometimes, living out of it is more fascinating.

To keep it short, my experience at Wesleyan has allowed me to perceive the world from a different angle. I have had chance to encounter my fellow FLTAs who came from different backgrounds and some really good people who supported me all the way. There is much more to say, but I will leave you with one Arabic phrase, “شكراً ويسليان” which means “Thank you Wesleyan”.