- February 07, 2023
Fedaa Alsoufi, a first-year student in computation and computer science, taught statistics, algebra, and physics to high schoolers at Ayb School in Armenia over IAP 2023.
In Armenia, Fedaa was smitten with her kind and hardworking students, supportive hosts, as well as the country’s culture of inclusiveness and community building.
“During my time at Ayb school, I didn’t face any major challenges,” Fedaa remembers. “The staff and the students at Ayb made it exciting for me to wake up every morning to teach.” She notes that her students tried to translate everything to her in English from Armenian, including their jokes, which always made her feel included.
Fedaa noticed how differently the school approached certain math and physics problems. “This experience enriched my skill set and exposed me to new ways of dealing with the matter at hand.”
Staying with a host family, Fedaa loved learning about Armenian culture, including the language and music. She even took a few piano lessons from her host mother.
“Armenian culture is extremely beautiful and has a tremendous emphasis on community,” she adds. Fedaa, who is Muslim, noticed that her upbringing, nevertheless, helped her connect with people in predominantly Christian Armenia on a personal level. “I found myself relating to the students in the way they were brought up given my Palestinian background. I learned about similar words in Arabic and Armenian and the 39-letter Armenian alphabet.”
“I would advise MIT students who are looking to teach in Armenia to go for it. It is truly a once-in-a-life experience,” she concludes.