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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Introduction: Hi!

Hello!

My name’s Sebastian, and I’m excited to meet all of you in the next few weeks!

Here’s a little introduction to myself. I was born in upstate New York, but I’ve spent almost all my life near Atlanta, Georgia, where I live now. I’ve always had a great interest in other languages and cultures, and for this I am so grateful that I have access to all the diverse groups and communities that find a home here in Atlanta. Over the years, I’ve studied French, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese, and I hope to broaden that list even more as we venture together into Indonesia! In high school, I became dead set on travelling somewhere internationally before graduation, seeing as I had never done so before, so I repeatedly applied to scholarship and study abroad programs, and eventually I was accepted to the State Department’s NSLI-Y scholarship. This program allowed me to travel to Korea and live with a home stay family for six weeks last summer, giving me my first international experience and providing confirmation for me that exploring other languages, cultures, and cuisines is what I enjoy doing most. My experience in Korea and my passion for languages eventually led me to the Bridge Year Program, where I am now proud to say I’ll be travelling with you all as part of Princeton’s flagship Indonesia program! Aside from language learning, I enjoy running in my spare time and lately I’ve taken up cooking and navigating my way around the kitchen better in the hopes of being able to share a part of my home with the people I meet and also bring some of the cultures I meet back home with me as well.

Can’t wait to meet you all!

P.S. I’ve been told a couple times now that I should recommend this app I use called “HelloTalk” to you all. I think it’s available on iOS and Android (definitely is on Android), but basically it sets you up with native speakers of the language you’re trying to learn (so Indonesian for us) who are learning your native language. It’s super simple and quick, and I’ve already learned a lot about Indonesian and Jogja from the people on it that I did not know before. Hope this helps!