Pierce College international students connect with local seniors

ie_studentsPierce College international students recently had an opportunity to experience American culture by getting out of the classroom and into the community.

Thanks to a new service-learning project by Professor Mishelle Pasinato, students practiced their English language skills by writing letters to seniors from the Lakewood Senior Activities Center. Pasinato paired each student with a local senior, and each partner wrote letters sharing stories about their lives and experiences.

“Service learning is an important part of our culture today, but it may not be as common in other countries,” said Myung Park, executive director of International Education. “We want to be able to educate students about the ways you can give back to your own community.”

The project required students to write focused, cohesive academic essays using a variety of sentence structures.

The program was organized by the Pierce College Service Learning department, and provided an opportunity for international students to learn the importance of community service and volunteerism.

After exchanging letters, the Pierce College Foundation hosted a luncheon at the Lakewood Senior Activities Center to allow the students and seniors to meet and mingle for the first time. “It’s important that my students meet other Americans who aren’t college students,” Pasinato said. “Seniors are true Americans with so many life experiences and stories to tell. This visit increased students’ cultural knowledge of America.”

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