Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in
Sections
You are here: Home Blog

The Choice

Simran, a SUSI student from India, shares her through-provoking reflections about her chosen career in journalism.

Over the next month, students from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are in Seattle for a new program coordinated by FIUTS, the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders in Journalism and New Media (SUSI). Each student will be writing a blog post about the experience. Here's a post by Simran Bhui from India about her time in Seattle so far:

Since the time the SUSI program has begun, my days have been filled with engaging lectures, amazing activities and enriching site vists. Each lecture, each activity and each site visit has gotten me thinking about things. We have been encouraged - encouraged to question, encouraged to think and encouraged to have fun.

Our visit to the Seattle Times was perhaps one of the most important experiences till date. It made me question what kind of a journalist I want to be. It made me question what kind of journalists the world needs.

A journalist's job is not easy. The constant search for stories, the deadlines, the art of cultivating sources, and then ensuring their safety, the struggle to maintain a balance between one's work life and personal life are just a few of the things that make journalism one of the most challenging professions of this age.

One of the most daunting, yet interesting part of being a journalist is the struggle to make choices - probably hundreds of them each day. Among the many number of choices that a reporter makes, the toughest one is perhaps this:

"Do I choose to be a human being first or a journalist?"

The history of journalism is rampant with instances where a reporter has had to make this choice. When faced with heart-wrenching cases of human misery and suffering, what should a reporter do? Should s/he step in and help? It may meddle with the story, affect the outcome and threaten the publication of the story, but it will certainly change a life. Or, should s/he stand back and let the events unfold as they may? After all, a journalist reports what is, as is, while maintaing a distance that ensures the presence of an objective outlook. How does a journalist make that choice?

Photos by Saif Mohammad

A few years back, a reporter covered a story showcasing the painfully shocking and disturbing practice of human sacrifice in a remote village in India. Capturing the entire ordeal on tape, he narrated the horrifying tale of the annual practice. This particular incident sparked a heated debate on the matter of choice.

One group of people believe that he could have and should have stepped in and taken steps to stop the sacrifice from happening. There was, afterall, a life at stake. Should journalists detach themselves from their stories to such a high degree that they can stand and witness murder? Does it not then make them an accessory to murder? There had to be a way to report the incident without letting the sacrifice happen. There had to be a way to report the incident and save a life at the same time.

The second group of people support his actions. Had he not recorded the event on tape, there would not have been a huge hue and cry against the practice. The government wouldn't have taken necessary steps to ensure that the annual tradition never happened again, had he not decided to stand back and do his job. Did he not save hundreds and thousands of lives by making that choice? Wasn't it a wise choice? People respond better to images. People connect better to images. Thus, there was no option but to report, and to hold a mirror in front of the society.

Kevin Carter's Pultizer winning piece of photojournalism can be analysed along the same lines. Was the Pulitzer worth the cost of a life? Isn't humanity more important than journalism? When does a reporter need to decide to shed his garments of objectivity and step in?

The choice - the moment where a reporter decides what defines her/him. Is he a human being first, and then a journalist or vice-versa?

The choice - the toughest part of being a journalist. Is the sacrifice of one at the cost of saving many worth it?

It is all about the choice.

What kind of a journalist do I want to be? Do I want to dedicate myself to journalism so wholly that it becomes engraved in every cell of my being? Or do I choose to be a journalist grounded in my sense of humanity?

It all comes down to why I chose journalism in the first place. I want to become a journalist to make a change. I want to become a journalist to change lives, to bring smiles and to bring people closer. I value relationships. I value life. I value values.

"Do I choose to be a human being first or a journalist?"

Perspective. It has never been this clear before. I choose to be a journalist, but with a human eye. I choose to be a journalist, but with a helping hand. I choose to be a journalist, but value life.

---

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, promote a better understanding of the people, institutions, and culture of the United States among foreign students, teachers, and scholars. Study of the U.S. Institutes are short-term academic programs for groups of undergraduate leaders, educators, and scholars from around the world.

The program in Seattle is coordinated by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), a local non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Washington that promotes international friendship and cross-cultural understanding in the region. The Seattle Globalist, a daily publication covering the connections between Seattle and the rest of the globe, is collaborating with FIUTS to deliver courses on topics in journalism and new media.

Document Actions

Meet the Summer Interns

Posted by FIUTS Community at Jul 15, 2014 02:30 PM |
Get to know Momoko and Rika, the new and wonderful summer FIUTS office interns!

Every quarter, FIUTS is lucky enough to have student interns who help us with all kinds of tasks in our office while having an opportunity to meet people, gain work experience, and learn about international education.

Meet our two amazing interns who are joining us this summer!

 

Name: Momoko Iwata

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

Year: Junior

Major: French and Sociology

I am an international student at Bellevue College, and just started working for FIUTS as an intern. I usually work at the front desk and also lead FIUTS Fridays with other facilitators!

I love traveling, learning about new cultures, and making friends all over the world! My passion for cultural exchange has persuaded me to work in the international education industry. I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity and excited to work with wonderful staff as a part of FIUTS.

In my free time here, I enjoy hiking with my host family and trying a new café with my friends. I love Seattle and now it is my second hometown!

 

Name: Rika Murakami

Hometown: Kobe, Japan

Year: Junior

Major: Business and English Literature

I am an exchange student at Bellevue College from Japan. I've been in Seattle 10 months so far. I am doing internship in this summer quarter as a part of my business program. I mainly take part FIUTS Friday which we enjoy and explore Seattle area every Friday with UW students and FIUTS friends.

I attended some activities with FIUTS last year, and I have been pretty interested in this organization for a long time, because FIUTS engages in providing unique experiences to students and community members effectively at UW, where there are mixed various cultural backgrounds. This is an ideal internship for me!

I am happy to work as a member of FIUTS staff. Also, I appreciate FIUTS staff for giving me such a great opportunity!

 

Thanks to our awesome interns for supporting FIUTS with all your hard work!

Document Actions

My SUSI Experience: Not What I Expected

Anuja, a SUSI student from Nepal, writes about what she's experiencing in Seattle.

Over the next month, students from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are in Seattle for a new program coordinated by FIUTS, the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders in Journalism and New Media (SUSI). Each student will be writing a blog post about the experience. Here's a post by Anuja Khadka from Nepal about her time in Seattle so far:

Coming to USA and flying on a jet plane was my dream. Its been a life changing experience after penetrating through the white clouds, being up above and landing here. I am at such place which is a big achievement for my parents to be proudly tell every one "o my daughter is at America!"

Stepping here from the airports, airplane to the restrooms, now I know why Americans are called civilized. So many stereotypes regarding American people are actually false. They respect, greet and thank everyone all around. They thank drivers, cafeteria cashier, grocery keeper and everyone who works. Even the cleaner who clean buildings. Stranger Americans greet us! They have dustbin to recycle and compost. They follow the rules really politely. Without further thoughts, I definitely felt a cultural shock but I was prepared to certain extent. It's obvious because I come from the other part of the globe where it is night when it is day here.

Camping in Pack Forest

Eating has been a huge problem. We indeed have lots of fooding facilities but we cannot eat it because of the new taste. I hate cheese but I have to eat it here. The matter of the fact is that I have gained my weight in 7 days. I definitely miss momo and typical Nepali food here. But I have made up my mind for the new food and the taste. Why not try new when I am here? Actually, I need to accept the truth that home is not every where but we can definitely make the place you are in a home. So, I have my friends and mentors as a family. I feel homely at my dorm! My roommate from India is Mitali who is wonderful. A kind of attachment has already started with the bed, my desk, my chair, cupboard, window, the whole apartment and also the elevator. Not to forget my golden swipe card. I love it so much! We are learning how the things work step by step. It feels accomplished.

UW Dorm Room (Photo by Anuja Khadka)

I am not suffering from home sick till these 8 days at Seattle. It may be because my life was really frustrating due to same old college routine and I wanted some break.  I am fully occupied and I'm happy here. Yes! I feel refreshed! It feels like a heaven at some places like Space Needle Tower and the Mt. Rainier or University of Washington itself. My dad after seeing my photo at the main campus commented " it looks like a palace". Well, it is!

Seattle view from the tower was mindblowing. Mount Rainier was indeed a paradise. I am living my dream in USA.

View of Seattle from the Space Needle (Photo by Anuja Khadka)

Apart from the fun times, I want to learn the hardships here. Reaching and starting scheduled things on sharp time is quite challenging for me because in my home country we never start programs on time. It's bitter since it is the truth. However, mentors from FIUTS are really encouraging, cooperating and loving. Thanks to my ambassadors Jiachun and Dannya. You guys are too cool and friendly. It feels too good when Jia sings 'sunday morning love you' and dances on it. Haha! It's the same with Dannya. All of them, my mentors, are so good to have tolerated our silly behaviors. I am sorry I cannot stop capturing the photograph of such a beautiful place. Not my mistake though! It's Seattle that's photography worthy. City's fault! Haha!

Mt. Rainier Hiking

Everything is totally fine, maybe it’s only the honey moon phase of the trip and bumps are yet to be dealt with. After all, a leader faces all the downs and gets over it!

I came here to learn and I am learning! My dream is to utilize what I learnt here back in my country Nepal. First project I am definitely going to start is the Food Bank Project.

Thank you FIUTS, SUSI, US Embassy and my entire co-participants for taking my life to the new level.

---

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, promote a better understanding of the people, institutions, and culture of the United States among foreign students, teachers, and scholars. Study of the U.S. Institutes are short-term academic programs for groups of undergraduate leaders, educators, and scholars from around the world.

The program in Seattle is coordinated by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), a local non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Washington that promotes international friendship and cross-cultural understanding in the region. The Seattle Globalist, a daily publication covering the connections between Seattle and the rest of the globe, is collaborating with FIUTS to deliver courses on topics in journalism and new media.

Document Actions

Welcome, Michael

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Jul 11, 2014 12:30 PM |
Introducing our new Homestay & Community Programs Assistant, Michael Levkowitz.

 

Michael Levkowitz joined FIUTS this week as the new Homestay and Community Programs Assistant and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team! In this role he will be supporting community events and activities; contributing to the FIUTS blog, newsletters, and social media platforms; and assisting with homestay coordination and host recruitment. Here is Michael’s brief introduction to the FIUTS community:

What a long and winding path I have traveled to get here! After earning an undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of Arizona, I spent a little more than a year living just outside of San Francisco before deciding to return to school, which is what eventually brought me up to Seattle.

Despite a long-standing interest in the news and developments of the world outside the United States, until very recently I don’t know that I had even considered working for an organization focused on promoting international understanding. After just a few weeks of volunteering as an ambassador for the Study of the US Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders in Journalism and New Media program hosted by FIUTS however, I realized how interesting and fulfilling working for the organization could be, and made it my mission to convince the staff that they needed me to join the team.

Michael (left) with participants in the FIUTS SUSI program

I am so excited to join the FIUTS community, and look forward to playing a part as the organization helps build cross-cultural understanding and international awareness among the next generation of global leaders.

With the bit of spare time outside of work and school, I enjoy all of the wonderful free activities the Pacific Northwest has to offer, from hiking and camping to people-watching. Though I have only been here one year, I am proud to call Seattle ”home” and definitely hope to stay in this wonderful city for many years to come.

Michael can be reached at community@fiuts.org.

Document Actions

Tour De Seattle and Bon Voyage

Nareshwar, a SUSI student from Sri Lanka, writes about what he's experiencing in Seattle.

Over the next month, students from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are in Seattle for a new program coordinated by FIUTS, the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders in Journalism and New Media (SUSI). Each student will be writing a blog post about the experience. Here's a post by Nareshwar Vaneshwar from Sri Lanka about his experience so far:

I felt fantastic myself and thrilling to visit the Emerald City of the USA, Seattle was the first impression when I got my confirmation from the Embassy of the US for Sri Lanka.

After 28 hours of travel and transit, at around 0015h of 22nd of June we landed here in this beautiful city. It was Catherine who was holding the SUSI name board to receive us at the SeaTac International Airport.

It was chilling and calm since it was an early morning, and we checked-in to a nearby hotel for that night. We couldn’t enjoy the night beauty of the city since we are new and place is so strange for us on the first day. No fun! I know!! After good hours of sleep, Catherine took us to the Alder Hall, UW where we met Alison for the first time. I introduced myself as, “Hi Alison, this is Nareshwar, from Sri Lanka.”

Slowly and steadily I got to use to the Alder, the Lander, UW Ave, The Hub, Stores around the Ave, different food options, and special mention goes to the Local Point (my daily meal provider). It was fascinating to explore all other places around the campus, in the campus and this place is so huge and historical.

Out of my all life changing experiences, I chose here to write the most significant experience which is the visit to Eatonville and Mount Rainier.

Tom drove us to the Eatonville where we met the Editor of local community paper called ‘The Dispatch’ and the Mayor of the town Mike Schaub. We learnt the community or the city centric newspaper reporting and the elements that we could adopt to our own country. The editor shared his own experiences and tips for us the young journalists. Then we had a discussion with the Mayor addressing about the current issues and future plans of the town. It was overall an informative session for all of us, we always tried to map our country scenarios with the Eatonville development.

Eatonville Chamber of Commerce Building

Rest of the day, we spent at the Pack Forest, preparing ourselves for the for the Sunday hike. I was expecting there will be no snow/ice at all on the mountain and just mountain climbing like we do usually in Sri Lanka. But the mountain was full of snow and that made me dancing since this is the first time I am experiencing a proper snow. I felt like winter though it is summer in Seattle.

I took lot of photographs, posted one on Facebook and one of the friends has a comment saying “Dude you are seriously underdressed to hike Mt Rainier” which made to realize that I am wearing a shorts to hike the Mountain. I value this experience as my best outdoor visits ever.

Mt. Rainier

It was good six hours we spent at the Mountain by hiking, playing and enjoying ourselves.

I am really looking forward to visit Chicago and Washington D.C after Seattle and expecting many more adventurous life changing experiences.

---

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, promote a better understanding of the people, institutions, and culture of the United States among foreign students, teachers, and scholars. Study of the U.S. Institutes are short-term academic programs for groups of undergraduate leaders, educators, and scholars from around the world.

The program in Seattle is coordinated by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), a local non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Washington that promotes international friendship and cross-cultural understanding in the region. The Seattle Globalist, a daily publication covering the connections between Seattle and the rest of the globe, is collaborating with FIUTS to deliver courses on topics in journalism and new media.

Document Actions

Facilitator Corner: Jianyang (Jane) Zhang

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Jul 09, 2014 11:20 AM |
"FIUTS is a place where all kinds of culture and diversity are equally valued and appreciated."
Facilitator Corner: Jianyang (Jane) Zhang

Jane (far left) with fellow students at orientation this Spring.

FIUTS Facilitators are volunteer student leaders from all over theworld who welcome new international visitors, help to organize events, and lead activities for hundreds of students each quarter.Read on to find out more about the FIUTS facilitator experience from this month's featured facilitator!

Name: Jianyang (Jane) Zhang
Country: China
Major: Computer Science
Class: 2017
FIUTS Facilitator Since: Spring 2014

Introduction

My name is Jianyang, which means “make things easier” in Chinese. I also go by Jane. I am currently a freshman and my intended major is Computer Science. I joined FIUTS in Spring 2014 and it was no doubt the biggest highlight of my freshman year. My favorite FIUTS event is Wednesday Lunch and I usually volunteer as the greeter at front desk because I love to see the smile and excitement on people’s faces and I love to be the first one to welcome attendees and encourage them to have a good time!

What does it mean to be a FIUTS facilitator?

I received so much help and support from FIUTS during my first year here therefore I feel I should give back and that is why I became a facilitator. I love helping people who are in the similar situation like me. During the past year, I have seen lots of international students having difficulties to get involved because of problems such as language barrier and culture difference. Therefore, I believe being a facilitator is a good way to help them get engaged.

It is not easy for most international students to adjust to a totally unfamiliar environment. Also, a lot of international students feel isolated because they are very different from local people who cannot look at things from their perspective. But FIUTS is a place where all kinds of culture and diversity are equally valued and appreciated. FIUTS facilitators all face similar struggles and have very similar perspectives. Therefore, facilitators play an important role in supporting and assisting international students make adjustment to the new environment and promoting multi-culture understanding between international students and local communities.

Jane and FIUTS friends at Gas Works Park for the Fourth of July

Favorite FIUTS anecdote as a facilitator

In May 2014, I volunteered at the FIUTS booths during U-district Street Fair to introduce FIUTS and look for local families host short-term homestay for international students. I really love the way we show the visitors about FIUTS.  We prepared Geographic guessing games and we gave away coloring sheets of “Globie” and cross word puzzles. A lot of us had a good time playing the guessing game with local families and while little kids were coloring Globie, we talked to their parents about FIUTS and answered their question and concern about homestay. It was very enriching to talk to local people about FIUTS. Not very many local people know the benefits of homestay and they do not know that there are a lot of international students waiting for their help. At the end of the event, we got a whole bunch of contact information of potential host families and all of us had a really good time!

Advice for peer facilitators:

Take initiative! Admittedly, it requires a lot of courage to get things started but you will never truly get involved until you sign up for events! Therefore it is important to take initiative!

Start with the easiest thing! The first step is always difficult to take. Therefore, start with things that you are confident in. For example, the first time I volunteered at FIUTS, I was Wednesday lunch food preparer. Even though my work was only cutting apples, the relaxing and welcoming atmosphere in FIUTS gained me strong confidence and empowered me to devote myself to it.

Last but most important, have fun!

---

Learn more about the FIUTS Facilitator program here!

More Facilitator Corner posts:

Jialu Sun

Fleur Xuanlin Li

Saleh Alwabel

Clara Jiayao Lu

Le (Juliet) Huang

David Veth

Yili (Jacky) Chen

Jonathan Cheng

Fah Thamsuwan

Charlie Warner

Katherine Li

Nabil Sutjipto

Jeremy Sculley

Ani Antonyan

Jaisang Sun

Document Actions

Life Changing Experience, Seattle

Haritha, a SUSI student from Sri Lanka, writes about what he's experiencing in Seattle.

Over the next month, students from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are in Seattle for a new program coordinated by FIUTS, the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders in Journalism and New Media (SUSI). Each student will be writing a blog post about the experience. Here's a post by Haritha Thilakarathne from Sri Lanka about his experience so far:

It was June 22, 2014, the day I boarded to the plane to have the 28 hours super long flight to Seattle from my sweet isle Sri Lanka. From the second the flight took its wheels off from the ground my life changing voyage started.

FIUTS SUSI program is designed for youth leaders. I was fortunate enough to meet three youth leaders from my own country who’ll be my companions during my stay in the US. The long flight was a great experience and it actually became a test that checked out the tolerance of me being in a same seat for such a long time.

The warm welcome we had at the Seattle Tacoma International airport by the FIUTS staff members disappeared the tiredness after the long trip.

We were eagerly looking forward to meet other SUSI participants from the South Asian countries and the ambassadors from different countries who are studying in US.

SUSI participants and ambassadors at Mt. Rainier

It was really fascinating to share the room with a nice guy from the country of the hills, Nepal. He became famous among the gang for his jokes and that “Dai” shared his leadership experiences and his views and thoughts on youth development.

Living in a city located on the other side of the globe far away from your home country is really challenging. Time difference and the day night clash makes me confused for couple of hours and I am used to managing it now.

University of Washington, the glorious grand buildings of this tremendous university made a dream of my life a reality, being in one of the best universities in the world. Visiting the Suzzallo reading hall at University if Washington, well known as the Harry Potter reading hall made me super delighted.

Adjusting my digesting system for the American food became bit hard because we were used to use lot of spices in our dishes as South Asians. But within these 5-6 days it became normal. Now I love the dishes here!

Classes we having on leadership and communication was really interesting. Because the team in the class is from different cultural backgrounds there are many interesting stories and personal experiences sharing within the lectures.

Though I’m not so much attached with media and journalism I learnt a lot from the media and journalism classes we had from the Seattle Globalist staff and the site visits we done to the Seattle Times and the KUOW radio station make my knowledge broaden on the field of journalism.

The awesome bunch of ambassadors provides a great support staying with us always and helping us to adjust for the culture and the life style of USA.

First weekend at the Pack Forest camping area near the well-known Mount Rainier national park was a pretty good experience. Hiking and exploring the forests and the wildlife in the North America was actually an exciting experience.

Yes. It’s like S’more! I want more to grab!

Enjoying s'mores at Pack Forest

---

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, promote a better understanding of the people, institutions, and culture of the United States among foreign students, teachers, and scholars. Study of the U.S. Institutes are short-term academic programs for groups of undergraduate leaders, educators, and scholars from around the world.

The program in Seattle is coordinated by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), a local non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Washington that promotes international friendship and cross-cultural understanding in the region. The Seattle Globalist, a daily publication covering the connections between Seattle and the rest of the globe, is collaborating with FIUTS to deliver courses on topics in journalism and new media.

Document Actions

My SUSI Experience

Kripa, a participant in the FIUTS SUSI program from Nepal, writes about what she's learned in her first week in Seattle.

Over the next month, students from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are in Seattle for a new program coordinated by FIUTS, the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders in Journalism and New Media (SUSI). Each student will be writing a blog post about the experience. Here's a post by Kripa Sigdel from Nepal about her first week as a SUSI participant:

I am not a journalism student but media just happened to me. I always wanted to be in some position where I could be voice of voiceless, dig out the uncovered issue and talk about it. And I got the way for it since I started the radio program in Nepal. Since then media studies and journalism are what I wanted to study and understand more. And the selection in SUSI was what I was looking forward to. And I am now very excited to be studying in one of the best institutes of United States, University of Washington with very impressive instructors.

Kripa blog1

Our group from Nepal arrived in University at 7:30 pm local time. The tiring 26 hours travel and jet lag just seem to vanish away with the feeling of we being in the place where we were so excited to be. Then the day was followed by orientation by FIUTS staffs and then visit to Seattle Times and then Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, then Space Needle. FIUTS, ambassadors and friends from other parts of world making our life so easier and fun here.

Kripa blog2

Kripa blog3

Kripa blog4

Now comes a real part "How much Journalism and Media related knowledge I gained till now?" Yes! To tell the truth, having no academic journalism background, I am having tough time understanding everything in class. Say it libel or slander, the technical words confuse me at times. But at the same time the excitement of learning the subject of my interest makes me try harder understand the subject matter. And I am pretty excited and sure about getting insights in them more with time, hopefully. As they say, learning takes time!

Even classes confuse me at times. The habit of doing last minute preparations and not so many assignments giving me hard time. But this is one most important habit I want to take back home. I am going to encourage everyone to value the time and discipline. People here value time so much which is one key element that sets them part from rest of the world which I have seen. The habit of being sharp at time. It they say 8:30 then it's 8:30. Yes! It has to be too to move with time. You cannot take things or granted. And this is what I am learning here.

When I was back home, I always do last minute preparations and it never did any harm too. But here I needed to be prepared for everything beforehand. I need to make sure all assignments are done before I reach class. And I am seriously loving this 'Make Sure u got it all beforehand" habit. And I believe this is what I am going to do back home. And I so know this one thing will make me different person from I was a week back.

It's just a week and I can already feel the changes. The changes in the way I value time, the way I value rules and the way I value people are making me a different person from which I was a week before. I am sure I have loads to get to know in four more weeks. Five weeks as a SUSI scholar will definitely change me as a person and I am hopeful to take various good stuffs back home. The experiences, memories, friends, learning I got from this beautiful place will be with me forever.

Till the end if first week this place has really been so friendly to me and I just believe this will continue to be till my last day. All the credit goes to FIUTS staff, ambassadors and friends.

---

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, promote a better understanding of the people, institutions, and culture of the United States among foreign students, teachers, and scholars. Study of the U.S. Institutes are short-term academic programs for groups of undergraduate leaders, educators, and scholars from around the world.

The program in Seattle is coordinated by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), a local non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Washington that promotes international friendship and cross-cultural understanding in the region. The Seattle Globalist, a daily publication covering the connections between Seattle and the rest of the globe, is collaborating with FIUTS to deliver courses on topics in journalism and new media.

Document Actions

Welcome, Danika

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Jun 17, 2014 04:00 AM |
Filed under:
FIUTS is excited to welcome our new Student Programs Coordinator, Danika Delano!

Danika Delano joined FIUTS last week as our new Student Programs Coordinator and we're so glad to welcome her to Seattle and our office! She'll be working with UW international students to organize programming, train and support facilitators, coordinate Wednesday lunch, and lots more. Here's Danika, introducing herself to the FIUTS community:

It seems that each step I’ve taken on my career path has led me to FIUTS. I began my involvement in international education when I embarked on a Semester at Sea voyage.  Through being introduced to 13 diverse countries in one semester, I began to see the benefits of non-formal and experiential learning. This experience sparked my curiosity of ways of life and people different from myself and I began connecting with international students in my community in Fort Collins, Colorado. While I was studying Psychology and Business at Colorado State University (CSU), I became involved in the Fort Collins International Center, CSU's International Student Services Office, and CSU's Intensive English Program, mentoring international students, coordinating events, and advocating for global understanding.

After graduation, I attended a cross-cultural communication conference in the Middle East and then set off to teach English in Japan. Once I learned how to use chopsticks, a year and a half later, I began a journey of a lifetime. I spent 9 months independently backpacking through Eastern Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Mexico, and South America. Upon returning to the United States, I lived out the T.S. Eliot quote, "We shall not cease from exploration, and at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

This brought me to pursue my Master of Arts in International Education with a focus on inbound international student support at SIT Graduate Institute, a program of World Learning, in Vermont. I am delighted to become a part of FIUTS to continue my ultimate mission of international peace through positive connections and mutual understanding. I am excited to support the rising leaders at UW and to help them inspire the greater community.

In my free time I enjoy hiking, backpacking, climbing, spending time with encouraging people, and, of course, exploring this beautiful world of ours. I have always been drawn to the quirkiness of Seattle and am glad to call it my new home.

Want to get in touch with Danika? Send her an email here.

Document Actions

Meeting the World in the San Juan Islands

Good music, delicious food, friends from around the world, and outdoor adventures on a FIUTS trip to the San Juan Islands.

Guest post by John Shen, FIUTS Facilitator

On May 24th- 26th, FIUTS had a trip to San Juan Island with 22 international students led by amazing facilitators (Kailyn, Saleh, and Julianne). It was one of the most unforgettable FIUTS experience I ever had because from this trip I truly understood what FIUTS is. I saw how FIUTS provided the opportunity for awesome students from around the world (China, Taiwan, Korea, Germany, USA, and Saudi Arabia) to meet, chat, and form a good relationship with each other.

During the trip to San Juan Island, we had the chance to drive by Deception Pass State Park and enjoyed a lovely lunch along the beach. On the ferry, we had fun time playing games, making tour plans, taking gorgeous photos of the water. The first evening on the island, we had fun exploring local food and music.

SanJuans_1

On Sunday we biked around the island and visited the Sculpture Park, Roche Harbor, Alpaca Farm, English Camp, and Lime Kiln Point State Park. Two students (Suiyue and MinSoo) and I went onto a whale watching trip afterwards. We were lucky enough to see a whale family hunting a seal. It felt great to just stay on the water, watching wildlife enjoy their world and feeling the circle of life.

SanJuans_3


Sunday night, after a long and crazy day exploring the island, we had an international potluck at which a couple of the students had the chance to show their cooking skills. Yili (Jacky) became the super star that night. His special pasta won everybody’s appreciation. A whole bucket of pasta went out quickly. The other members also had their way to provide food. Many members bought delicious local food from the local market they visited during the day. There were also people providing dessert and drinks. It was a great experience for me, fantastic food and awesome friends. Especially from the food preparation part I can see how powerful team work is. In one day, we made a dinner with local food and international cuisine. This is that kind of experience that you cannot get without FIUTS. That night, we all enjoyed the diversity of food culture.

SanJuans_4

After dinner, we sat down and had a fun time sharing our life experiences. I literally felt the flowing of ideas from different culture and sparkling they made when they exchange. Chinese culture, Taiwanese culture, Korean culture, Saudi Arabian culture, they are all so far away from America, but now I am learning about them without even moving my legs. It’s a unique experience that FIUTS provided.

Finally, it was a lot of fun just being with friends and exploring great San Juan Island. Thanks for all who joined our trip. Your presence brings your culture to this trip. It is your participation making this trip colorful. I was surprised to see there are already deep relationships formed during the trip. Keep those up and enjoy the world with new friends.

SanJuans_5


Thanks for the awesome facilitators (Kailyn, Julianne, Saleh) the best facilitators I ever worked with!

GO FIUTS Nation!

SanJuans_2

Photos by John Shen and Julianne Sloane

Document Actions

The FIUTS blog is updated several times a week with stories and news from the FIUTS community of students, hosts, staff, alumni, and more.

Join the conversation!
Submit a Story

Contact the Blog Manager

Join the FIUTS Newsletter

 

Connect with FIUTS online