Living as Learning: The Future of Experiential Education at Williams

Sophia Rosenfeld ’15

The value of experiential education … is not about doing community service or conducting an anthropological study. … Rather, the goal is to meld the personal with the intellectual. … Before [spending Winter Study on a homestay in] Portland, I never thought about fluency. … It wasn’t until Portland, where I helped to teach English to the newest of newcomers at Portland High School, that I realized how precious this ability of mine is. … I can read and write and speak English fluently. … I am fluent in the knowledge of navigating life in America. I know how to use public transportation, how to send an email, how to tell a doctor that I’m feeling sick. My time in Portland taught me there is a lot that I know, but it also taught me there are certain experiences that I can never know, certain feelings that I can only imagine. I have never fled my town because of war. I don’t know what it’s like to be a newcomer in an unknown country. I have never not been able to return home.

Watch the YouTube video!!