• Classroom Consultant (help prepare international TAs by providing feedback on practice teaching in ESL class for prospective international TAs)
• ESL Assistant – Assist with CAELC oral ESL classes for graduate students
• Teaching Consultant – Observe and consult with new international TAs in their sections.
• Workplace ESL Assistant – Work directly with an international UVA employee on English communication skills.
• VISAS Café – work with our VISAS Café staff to facilitate intercultural discussions and English practice in a larger group
Wittner says that it has been a great semester for all the programs. “We are now in our fifth week- halfway through our 10-week semester cycle,” she says adding that a nice gauge of interest is the participation in weekly discussion group VISAS Café. “There is so much engagement that we are having trouble keeping the snack plates filled, but the best part is many people who show up aren't even involved in VISAS, so the word is really getting out,” says Elsa Thompson, CAELC Program Assistant.
Travis Schuck is one of 11 undergraduate interns who helps lead the VISAS program. As the Language Consultant Intern, Travis engages over 500 international and domestic participants in intercultural partnerships. “Everyone is so engaged and appreciative of the opportunity to form meaningful connections and learn new things,” says Schuck. “It's truly such a fun and lively program to be a part of!”
One of the volunteers in that program, Nalani Butler says that her meetings have gone well this Fall. “We never seem to run out of things to talk about”, she says. “Our conversations have included everything from her weekend trip to New York with her husband to the Never Have I Ever television show series on Netflix. We’ve bonded over our love for travel giving each other tips for yummy food, and activity.”
The reactions from the international partners have been equally enthusiastic about their weekly meetups. Ni Luh Suri Laksmi Krisnahas been coming to VISAS this semester. “We really enjoyed strolling around the Old Cabell Hall where we ended up finding Music Library like we find a gem,” says Ni Luh Suri Laksmi of her language partner, adding that they spent time talking about the building and how its maintained carefully. “We also talked about how drastic the weather has changed overnight recently with the hurricane and I’m excited to explore C'ville more during autumn time.”