The NCVPS Super Student Award is for students who have gone above and beyond the course requirements and as a result have enriched the content, class dynamic, their own learning, their classmates’ learning, and even their teacher’s learning.
“When I first started my junior year in high school, I honestly didn’t have a particular goal. I returned from an adventurous summer to find myself back in school doing assignments, just like last year and the years before last year. Whilst scheduling, I looked through a booklet of classes available in North Carolina, searching for Arabic. I was already familiar with Middle Eastern culture from childhood experiences, and during my stay in Tanzania, I had met Arabic speakers. The country’s geographic position in East Africa has always made it a prime destination for Arab merchants, and so the two cultures found there are very intertwined, especially in coastal cities such as Dar es Salaam.
When I found Arabic 1 Online, I was sold, and shortly after I began learning the Arabic alphabet. This quickly became my goal in NCVPS, and it drove me to continue. Arabic is a very hard language, and learning the alphabet was very important to me. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something I’ve always dreamed of, and to my surprise, it worked. I now know the Arabic Alphabet, along with vocab and conjugations. Though my proficiency is still in its infancy, it will continue to grow as I progress in the course and in life.” –Julian F.
“Julian was a hard worker with super grades and great attendance. He showed grade responsibility and the love for learning languages.” –Georges Marayati, NCVPS Arabic 2 Instructor
Experience with NCVPS
In the fall semester of 2016, I enrolled in Arabic 1, marking the beginning of my time with NCVPS. Admittedly, the first week was difficult. On top of learning the technical aspects of the Instructure platform, I had to learn how to balance my work from school with my online class. At the time I had also just started the International Baccalaureate program, which added to the stress of realizing that summer was over. However, to my surprise, I quickly got a hang of NCVPS, mostly thanks to the tutorials on the site itself, and with the help from my teachers. Undoubtedly the best part of my experience has been virtually meeting my teachers and peers. NCVPS has connected me with people from different cultures that I wouldn’t meet any other way.
My teachers have been enthusiastic and supportive since day one, and most importantly they have opened my eyes to the kindness that’s in all of us. The world can often be a menacing place, but it never felt that way with my Arabic coaches. The same goes for my fellow students from Arabic 1 and 2. We all were interested in learning Arabic, which connected us in a way, despite not sitting face-to- face in a classroom. Overall, NCVPS has shown me the viability of online learning, and its potential to connect me with like-minded people, whilst advancing my education at the same time. I expect to take what I’ve learned in Arabic into my future, and I’m grateful for NCVPS providing me with the means to do so.
Advice to Online Students
Take classes that you are interested in! This is a tip that can be applied to education in general, but it is especially applicable to e-learning. NCVPS has opened up a door for me to study Arabic, a language which I wouldn’t be able to learn otherwise due to the fact that it isn’t typically offered at most schools. If you find a subject that truly interests you, it will be a lot easier to do online work and enjoy the course to its fullest!
NationStates.net is an online forum-based political simulation platform where you can create your own nation and customise its page. The purpose of the game is to write articles and legislative bills similarly to the YMCA’s “Youth and Government” programme. The Player can also address issues in their nation in order to develop its civil rights, political freedoms, and economic output. The site is organised into regions, each containing other players that live within them. Any player can create their own little community and recruit others to join. The region I reside in houses 200+ players, and we have 6 government representatives, one of which is myself. Together with my colleagues, we set policies for our constituents and interact with foreign heads of state. As of writing this response, I am the Foreign Minister, as well as Ambassador to several allied regions. It sounds cheesy, but it is incredibly addicting and a lot of fun! I have spent way too much time on this game, but I enjoy it, and I must admit that it has probably been the biggest influence on my career aspirations, so I would say that this is my favorite site… other than NCVPS of course!
Gadgets and Things
The most important gadget that I use on a daily basis is definitely my phone. It’s a love-hate relationship, but without it, I wouldn’t be able to contact friends and family, read the news, and check my grades and assignment, among a host of other vital aspects of student life. In the 1840s the telegraph was invented, and it’s incredible that merely 180 years later most of us have vastly superior technology that connects people from around the world at all times. Without my phone, part of this bio wouldn’t even be written!
I plan on studying International Affairs and Politics in college, and I hope to work as a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department. This has been my dream for many years, as I love traveling and diplomacy. If this aspiration does not come to fruition, my backup plan is to do other politically-oriented work. Before college, however, I want to take a gap year to travel. I’m particularly interested in the Middle East and Europe, but ideally, I would like to go everywhere in the world.
Other than the Arabic that I have learned through NCVPS, I also speak Spanish, German and English fluently. I was born in Vienna, Austria, and I lived in a small Austrian village for 10 years before moving to the United States in 2014. My Mother lives and works in Spain, and as of writing this response, I’m preparing for my 4-week study abroad at a University in Salamanca, Spain.
1984 by George Orwell. I found this book on my parents’ shelf nearly two years ago, and since then I have frequently come back to it. The Dystopian society of 1984 fascinates me, and every time I re-read it I find new details about Oceania and the world around it that I didn’t notice before. The legacy of its author is also part of the reason why I like it so much. George Orwell was a remarkable political thinker and activist, as he wrote numerous books such as Animal Farm, and also fought among the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.
This was a hard question, however, I am content with my answer. Out of all the different artists and songs I listen to, my favorite would have to be Don’t Let Me Down by The Beatles. It was written in 1968 to reunite them one last time when they performed on a rooftop in London. When I was traveling through Uganda in 2014, I listened to this song every day. When I play it on my phone now, it reminds of Lake Victoria’s scenery, the dense jungle of Bwindi, and the arid plains of Kidepo.
Favorite TV Show
Breaking Bad. It’s the only series I ever watched in its entirety, and every once in awhile I go back to watch some of my favorite episodes from this televised masterpiece. In regards to movies, my all-time favorites are Indiana Jones, Lawrence of Arabia, and Star Wars, as I grew up watching nothing else. I also enjoy some lesser known works such as Paths of Glory and Der Bockerer (1+2), the latter of which is a classical Austrian comedy.
For the majority of my childhood, I lived in the Central European Republic of Austria. I was able to travel to many other European countries including but not limited to Italy, France, and Britain. At a very young age, my family moved to Belize for a year, a time which I admittedly barely remember. After that, we moved back to Austria, but instead of returning to our small Viennese apartment, we moved into a house in the countryside. Life remained relatively calm for nearly 11 years. At the age of 14 we moved to the United States, and in the summer of 2015, I worked with an Austrian NGO in Tanzania called Africa Amini Alama. I helped them translate games for local schools from German to English, organize the storage facility, and stamped books in the library. During my time there, I also hiked to the top of Mount Meru and explored various national parks.