This is it! I had my last day of Khmer language class today. My test is over and my presentation is complete!
This must have been the most difficult six weeks in my academic career. I’m lucky that a lot of things come easy to me; foreign language does not. I’ve had nine-hour school days just to go home and study for several hours more, drilled my brain with new concepts and words, and generally immersed myself in this program.
I knew an accelerated course would be tough, but I had no idea how much content we would truly pack into this month and a half. I probably end up doing more work than this during the school year, but the difference is the type of work. At least with several slower classes I can take a break from a subject if I need one. With this course, I had to power through without stopping.
I feel like I gained valuable skills from this class. My language has improved tremendously over this last six weeks, arguably progressing more than I have in my two years of language courses. Immersion does wonders. I’m able to carry on conversations and understand more than ever before. Even beyond language, I feel as though I’ve learned some other important things as well. Determination was essential, discipline mandatory, and sheer willpower to carry me through.
This course has taught me about what it means to be a hard-working and driven student, from accepting your challenges and working to correct them, communicating problems with your professors, asking for help if you need it… All of these are things that I’ve had to do in this class, and many that I’ve refused to do before. Moving forwards, I need to remember this.
Overall, I’m so grateful to my professors, the coordinators of this program, and my amazing host family. Thank you for helping me learn so much.