Why I Chose to Come to MMLA

January 28, 2014

Growing up in a bilingual household and having studied Mandarin Chinese since the age of five, I can’t remember a time when language learning wasn’t a part of my life. I love the challenges presented by learning a new language and the feeling of being connected to a culture entirely different from my own.

I originally looked into MMLA after hearing about my dad’s experiences attending Middlebury’s Japanese summer program while he was in university. After pouring over student testimonials and academy videos, I decided to apply to the GMC campus in Vermont. Without hesitation I can say that both applying to MMLA and choosing the GMC campus are some of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

To me, the letters MMLA are synonymous with adventure. It seemed like every second of MMLA was a new experience and I can’t imagine a more fulfilling way to spend a month as a high school student. Aside from the huge leap I experienced in my language skills, I met an amazing group of teachers, RA’s and students who are truly passionate about language learning and continue to inspire me.

This summer I’ll be continuing my studies of Mandarin at the Swarthmore Campus in Pennsylvania. I’m excited to once again immerse myself in a language that has become so much a part of my life while living and learning with a community of inspirational students and teachers. I think that’s what’s so special about MMLA: it’s not only an immersive language camp, it’s also a camp that immerses students in an environment of risk-taking and exploration.

Katya Pollock is a ninth grade student from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Last summer, she attended MMLA at Green Mountain College to improve her Mandarin Chinese proficiency. Outside of MMLA, Katya studies Mandarin with an at-home tutor. This summer, she’s enrolled in the Chinese Academy at Swarthmore.