A Dear Old Friend

too good for this world,

a departure, with no goodbyes.

despite all the pain,

warmth in smile and kindness in being, always there.

never felt sorry for self, led by example, left people with elevated auras. a great supporter.

few words, yet, had an immeasurable impact. genuine, honorable, hard-working.

light and goodness.  

deserved infinitely more.

Angolan Cultural Night (GEF International Event)

A fellow GEF, my friend Sarah, invited me to go to the Angolan Cultural Night. After aimlessly walking for at least 20 minutes, we somehow found the Angolan Cultural Night. There was incredibly good food, not to mention an outstanding show!

People poured the hearts on the stage and I was awestruck at the talent and the unspoken communication of Angolan culture through song, dance, and poetry.

One guy even did a martial arts performance! My favorite part of the show was the fashion show and the last act where they danced and got the audience to join them. It was one of the best ways to spend a Friday night.

FSO in residence: Importance of Language and Culture (GEF International Event)

Advice from OU’s Diplomat in Residence

  1. “Do the hard stuff”
    • Peace Corps, ROTC, Study Abroad: Immersion Programs
  2. Scoring an internship
    • Paid→ Pathways recruits minorities
    • Unpaid→ Over the summer
  3. Steps to become an FSO (Foreign Service Officer): 1)Written Test 2)Personal Narratives 3)Oral Assessment
    • Prepare early
    • Be a well informed citizen
    • Accumulate experience and skills
    • Strive to improve your character
    • Bottom line: Read. Write.
  4. FSO as a career
    • It’s a lifestyle
    • Everyone does consular work
    • You’re constantly learning
      1. Foreign Service Institute: will pay you to learn languages
    • You represent Americans
  5. Attain high fluency in a language
    • Order of current language recruitment by State Department: 1) Spanish 2)Chinese and Portuguese 3)Arabic and Russian (subject to change)
  6. https://careers.state.gov WILL BE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ALLY
    • This is the information hub regarding internships, career paths, and advice in the State Department

Kristin Stewart. “The Importance of Language and Culture in the Foreign Service”. The University of Oklahoma. September 6, 2017.

Model UN (GEF International Group)

Today, I learned from tiny humans. Even though I’ve been a part of Model United Nations for the bulk of this first semester, I didn’t have the first clue about pretty much anything. Now, I (at least) think I do. The Executive Committee put together a Model UN conference for Middle Schoolers where I saw these kids debate, use parliamentary procedure, and caucus with each other. My understanding of Model UN has finally come full circle.

My role as Secretariat Staff allowed me to circulate around during caucusing to help facilitate discussion. But, I think I learned more from the middle schoolers than they did from me. I was surprised at how much the kids didn’t need our guidance. I’ll be sticking with Model UN because of how we get to learn about how countries interact at the international level and how you are put into situations where you must debate, collaborate, and practice public speaking. I’m excited to see how this year goes.

Teaching Overseas (GEF International Event)

Why should you consider teaching English abroad? To gain experience, soul search, have a productive gap year, pay off student loans, save money, learn a language, and try your hand at teaching. The great news is that any major can do this and little-none knowledge of a language is needed. Due to the presence of English as a lingua franca, English teaching programs can be found in most countries.

The highest demands for English teachers are in 1)Taiwan, China, Korea 2)Japan, Việt Nam, Thailand 3)Portugal, Spain 4)Russia. Majors in demand include 1)linguistics/foreign language majors 2)STEM and special education 3)sociology.

  1. Types of programs
    • CRAM schools or after school (teach in the afternoon)
    • International school
    • Professional (Business– private tutoring)
    • Bonus: can take university classes for cheap (eg Taiwan)
  2. Certification/License needed? Depends.
    • Most require only a bachelor’s degree, passport, and resume
  3. Getting a leg up
    • Experience: CASP, tutor, volunteer
    • Certification: CETL, etc.
    • Necessity: excited attitude and desire to teach in your audition demo
  4.  Books
    • TEFL
    • Teaching English Abroad
    • The New Tales from International School Teachers
  5. Websites

Expose yourself to different events/talks/activities on campus. Even ones that you’re only mildly interested in. I’d never considered teaching English abroad or even thought about being a teacher. But listening to Diamond talk about her experiences and the meaning she found in her work, made me question why I’d never thought about doing it before. Teaching English abroad isn’t a commitment to becoming a teacher. Instead, it is an opportunity to teach, meet new people, explore new places, and figure out (or confirm) what you love to do. It can be the jumping off point for your career or a productive (or fun) gap year. That part is up to you.

Diamond Andress. “Fill the Gap: Teach English in a Foreign Country After You Graduate”. The University of Oklahoma. September 2017.


Purpose: Becoming a global citizen and creating change

Trip Start: 2017             Trip End: ∞

Destinations: 🌎 🌍 🌏

  • International Context (GEF)
  • College
  • Personal

Hi, I’m Amy Ma’ilo. I’m pursuing a political science major and minoring in French and Chinese at the University of Oklahoma. I believe in the potential of language fluency, international relations, and curiosity of other cultures as a bridge between human beings from different parts of the Earth. I am forever grateful to the Global Engagement Fellowship who has given me the opportunity to study abroad during my time in college.