April 19, 2018

American Abroad Student of the Month: March 2018

Margaret (Greta) Rauch, a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) participant is the U.S. Department of State’s March 2018 American Abroad Student of the Month.  From Chicago, Illinois and a graduate of Saint Ignatius College Prep, Greta is currently studying in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Greta is a role model for American students abroad. She has found a way to weave her interests in community service and STEM education into her NSLI-Y experience, increasing her language proficiency and strengthening the relationships she has built with friends, teachers, and students in her host community. Greta embraces a positive mindset, is always ready to challenge herself, and never ceases to seek new opportunities to do so.

Greta goes above and beyond to give back to her host community. She joined a volunteering club at Wenzao University, through which she spends at least three hours a week tutoring local elementary school students. She represented the NSLI-Y program at a national speech competition for exchange students in Taipei. Greta’s speech, which was about the importance of not judging others by one encounter, earned her an honorable mention among the 77 participants in the competition. More recently, Greta was interviewed by a local radio station about her experience living with a Taiwanese host family, studying Chinese, and her interest in robotics.

Greta is passionate about computer science and robotics and has found ways to incorporate her professional development goals into her exchange experience. She took the initiative to contact a robotics team in Taiwan, arranged a visit with the team during her free time and was later invited to be an emcee in a robotics competition where the team was competing. This was an opportunity for her to pursue her interests in STEM and also master technical vocabulary to add to her growing Chinese lexicon. To prepare for her final research project on STEM education in Taiwan, she visited a local elementary school to interview a math teacher and discuss how elementary school education can influence a student’s interest in robotics and coding.

Overall, Greta is able to apply her passion for community service and STEM to enhance her program experience, not only lifting herself up, but also lifting up those around her.

Congratulations, Greta!

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