ciee - council on international educational exchange
BAFF

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What can your story be in the United States?

09/14/2016

Pondering upon Civic Diplomacy

In San Francisco, California's history, the evolution of a Maritime Trade Centre. Located at one of the best natural harbors in the world entrance. San Francisco is the city and county where the same common borders name. From the gold rush of the night in 1849 and immediately became a bigger and more important center of commercial, financial and maritime city on the west coast of the population. It devastated earthquake and fire in 1906, but quickly rebuilt. It remains an important center for financial services center, [dubious - discuss] and the rich has increased over the past year, its proximity to Silicon Valley.

Difficult to understand, isn’t it? How about if I try to switch full stops to commas and vice versa? Would that help me understand the text?

This is English, right? Maybe there are a number of verbs missing? What if I try to fill in the missing verbs? Would that help me understand the text?

What else can I try to do? I cannot understand what I cannot understand. I’m close to reaching the point that I don’t even understand anymore what I do understand.

Recognize this feeling? Maybe some of you do. This is one of the first emotions moving to a foreign country and taking up a job in an unknown culture. I did learn my English, but why does everything feel like it’s Google-translated. Well, that’s exactly what I did in this first paragraph - Google-translated Wikipedia article about San Francisco to Estonian and then back to English. This is what it felt like the first couple of weeks working at my internship.

And then I end up surfing through the BAFF web page once again and stumble upon this notion of civic diplomacy (communication with foreign publics to establish a dialogue designed to inform and influence). Maybe they actually meant it, when they said that this scholarship is a compliment for me and my professional ambitions, but this internship is also a little bit for my country.

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