ESU in New York has initiated a new English-language program in a collaboration with ESU Romania. From July 16 to 26, ten high school students from ESU Romania practiced their English with American peers in New York City at ESU Headquarters and about the city at museums and cultural sites.
The ESU partnered with Pace University, in consultation with Pace's English Language Institute Director Brian Hickey, to gear this activity to the students' advanced level of English language skills. Under the guidance of ESU Romania's Florina-Jasmine Niculescu, chaperone Anemona Niculescu and teacher Fanita Ceara, the students had English classes each morning and conversation sessions each afternoon, based on English in Action, which pairs native speakers with those wishing to improve their English conversational skills. Their conversation partners were students recruited from local New York high schools. "I enjoy learning about a different culture. I thought they'd be different but they're just teenagers like me," said one Romanian student about her American conversation partner.
Several of the American teens have Romanian roots and were excited about the opportunity to meet the visitors and learn about teenage life in Romania. "This program is exciting and dynamic and I really enjoy sharing opinions with people my age who live in a different cultural environment," said one participant. No doubt these new friendships will continue long after the program's end.
On their final day of class, there was a festive graduation celebration and a traditional American ice cream social hosted by the ESU of New York Branch.