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“VAL is open to us immigrants with unconditional help. I really appreciate that.”

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Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at 12:35 PM



Meet Jolana, an English Language Learning Student from Slovakia

My story began many years ago. I came to the USA for the first time to see my brothers and I had no idea I would be anchored here for long. Simply, a teacher from Slovakia wanted to know the country of her favorite heroes from U.S. History and novels, such as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, General George Patton, General Ulysses Grant, and Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer.

I was looking forward to learning the art and culture of ordinary people overseas.  New York struck me with a fast pulse. Many rushing people, casual clothes and desperate cars in an effort to find a crack in the human anthill and move forward.  I managed not only to see but also to visit world-famous sites such as the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Broadway, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. It was an amazing time. All these and other fantastic experiences were forever written in my heart. At this point (during the Covid-19 Pandemic), I think more intensely about the inhabitants of New York.  I keep my fingers crossed.  I believe that it won’t be long and I will visit New York again

Hometown:  Hermanovce, Slovakia

Arrival in U.S.:  2007

Languages:  My native language is Slovak. I still remember Russian and German from Slovak schools. I am learning English under the leadership of the great teacher, Mary.

Education:  I studied Slovak Language, Literature and History at the University of Presov.

Job in Slovakia:  I was a middle school teacher all my professional life.

Jobs in Vermont:  Personal care, gardening, childcare, etc. 

Why she settled in Vermont:  I fell in love and got married.

Something she misses about Slovakia:  I miss very much my family—my sister, brothers, niece, nephews and old friends.

Happy memory from Slovakia:  I have many happy memories from Slovakia. I ‘ll only mention the two most important: the memory of my wonderful parents and the memory of my teaching profession.

Something she brought with her from Slovakia:  I brought from home a responsible and firm approach to everything I do:  relationships, work, nature, etc.

Challenge she faces:   My challenge is to master English to be sure of myself in the United States.

What she likes about Vermont Adult Learning in Middlebury:  I found great people here.  I’m getting  an admirable education.  I met the best teacher who leads me.

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