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Language Labs

The American-English Language Labs program (Language Labs) provides current international students at UGA a comfortable and reoccurring space to practice their American-English language skills and ask questions to clarify points of confusion related to the complicated nature and nuance of conversational English and U.S. cultural concepts. Additionally, this program provides the opportunity for international students to build a sense of community with other international students as we know that UGA’s international students are spread out across many different academic programs and physical locations on campus.

Program Details

  • This program is free and open to all international students enrolled at UGA.
  • Language Labs will begin in September 2020 and run on a monthly-basis through the end of classes in May 2021.
  • Up to three Language Lab rooms will be available each month (on the same date/time) and each room will have at least one instructor. Instructors are current international and/or American student volunteers who have been selected by the Department of International Student Life (ISL).
  • Each Language Lab room will have no more than 20 international student participants in order to keep the experience as individualized and comfortable as possible. If student interest in the program warrants, additional rooms and instructors will be provided by ISL to meet the demand.
  • Involvement is based on student interest and availability – meaning you can choose to come to as many or as few language labs as you wish!
  • While each monthly Language Lab will have a theme or topic that the instructor will briefly teach, the majority of the time will be unstructured to allow for students to interact with eachother and the instructor(s) informally to seek out assistance with specific questions or challenges.

Language Lab Instructors

Caroline Campbell - Language Labs InstructorMy name is Caroline Campbell and I am a second-year undergraduate student at UGA. I am studying Classics and I plan to attend nursing school after graduation. I grew up in a family that hosted Chinese medical students every year for a month and this sparked my interest in studying other languages and also helping those learning English with their own language skills. I understand how difficult it is not only to learn another language, but also to learn what the cultural norms are. I love running, playing guitar, drinking tea, and being a UGA student. I am so excited to help you gain confidence in your language skills and cultural understanding.

Caroline Johnston - Language Labs InstructorHi everyone, my name is Caroline Johnston and I am a senior studying International Affairs, Global Health, and German. I’m eager to share my love of learning with students this fall. Using my previous experiences in tutoring and teaching ESL, I hope to create an environment that is welcoming, creative, respectful, and full of laughter. I love painting, reading, watching movies, and being outside. I also can’t wait to get to know and work with you all!

Dan Jin - Language Labs InstructorDan Jin is from China and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in the TESOL and World Language Education program at the UGA College of Education.  She is passionate about education and tenacious in her career path. For the past years, she has met and taught international students from Asian countries, Italy, Poland, and Jamaica. She enjoys working with international students and welcomes them to bring their knowledge into the classroom. Thus, Dan’s class is pretty inclusive, comfortable, and at the same time full of information. Dan’s dream is to teach at a top-tier university in the future. She hopes that wherever she goes, she is able to make a difference.

Hey everyone! I am Hermela Beyene, a third-year student studying Arabic and Biology. I gained an interest in exploring different cultures from my time living in different countries and as a language labs instructor, I am very excited about getting to meet people from diverse backgrounds. I will be doing my very best to help you understand the nuances of the English language and American cultural references while maintaining a welcoming and fun learning environment. I am ready to answer all questions, address all curiosities or just be a listening ear to practice on. Looking forward to meeting you all! 

Kaila McgintyI am Kaila McGinty, a writer, cultural anthropologist, and social justice advocate originally from Atlanta, Georgia. I gained interest in different cultures after living in Turkey and Japan, and I have been happy to find that I am able to build on that interest! here at UGA. I am honored to walk with international students as they navigate Athens’s culture, and will do everything in my power to ease the transition to college in the States, help where I can, and fill in the gaps of American culture and the English language!

Lindsay Long - Language Lab InstructorI am a third-year student immersing myself in the UGA and the surrounding Athens community through being involved in many different capacities on and off-campus. I am studying Mass Communications with a certificate in Leadership and Service.  I am very passionate about people and learning from other cultures and personalities. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the international community through language lab instruction. You will learn American phrases, culture references, and things to equip you to go into the community and feel confident about speaking to native English speakers. I want this to be a safe place for all, come with any and all questions. I am here to be your friend and I come with a lot of energy and excitement to get to know you!

Rachel Jovert - Language Lab InstructorRachel Jovert is from Atlanta, Georgia and is currently in her 4th year as an International Affairs and Latin American & Caribbean Studies major. Her experience learning Portuguese as an exchange student in Brazil has developed her passion for creating cultural connections. She believes in fostering supportive and fun environments for language learning. In her free time, she enjoys reading and going for walks with friends. 

Rashi Bhatnagar - Language Lab InstructorHey everyone! I am a senior, majoring in Chemistry and an international student from Delhi, India. I love engaging with students from around the globe and I am thrilled to be a language lab instructor.  It often happens that we are unable to express ourselves clearly. Being able to communicate, write, and vocalize our thoughts eloquently is crucial not only in academia but also in engaging with different communities and building networks. Through the program, I wish to bring together students from around the globe by helping them build their English language and communication skills as well as develop American cultural concepts. My biggest tip to all international students is to keep exploring. Stay connected with your faculty and get involved on campus because UGA is full of amazing opportunities. I recommend all of you to get boba from the Bubble Tea Cafe and to take a dip in the Herty Field fountain! I can’t wait to help all of you in having a smooth transition to States and UGA. GO DAWGS!

Shufan Zhang - Language Lab InstructorRemembering my first experience dinning in an American restaurant and one year later bringing my family to the same place, I realized how much I had transformed. Living and studying in a foreign country alone post not only challenges that are not taught in textbooks or practiced in the TOEFL exam, but also opportunities to exceed expectations. Now, reflecting on my journey to be a PhD student at UGA as an international student, I would love to share my journey overcoming unexpected difficulties and culture shocks to help other international students to get to what they desire in life. Being around students with a diverse cultural background made me a listener, giver and student who continues to grow. To always be the better version of me, I joined ISL. Excited to meet you all in a ISL program events!

Trinity Gates - Language Labs InstructorTrinity Gates is a second-year at UGA pursuing an undergraduate degree in International Affairs. Trinity’s favorite things at UGA include the trees, the Georgia Museum of Art, and sports games-especially basketball games! She has lived overseas in England, Germany, and Japan. She loves exploring other cultures and traveling. In addition, she is also an avid reader, amateur art lover, and major foodie!