Jessie Hulst (response to question 8)
After two days of listening and learning at the international student conference, there are many things I have learned both about the topics presented as well as about the people who presented them. I very much enjoyed spending time talking with the students from the various universities in Cambodia. I was struck by their stories and their perspectives. Our interactions were therefore both informative and enjoyable.
I was able to practice some of the skills I have been learning in my ESL courses. For instance, I spoke slowly, used many hand motions, and paraphrased. I felt humbled by the fact that this was the only step I had to take, while the Cambodian students had learned the language I speak. The students were very polite and friendly, and I felt that as long as I followed their lead as far as topics and conversation style, I could be culturally sensitive. Overall, however, I think that all of the students were very understanding towards one another and I feel blessed to have gotten to know them.