My Summer with SHEP | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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My Summer with SHEP

Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 18:30

Student blog by Mahdi Murad

@MahdiKurdii

During my final exams last month, I thought about how I should spend a month of my summer break before my trip to Greece. I knew it would be really boring to do nothing for a whole month. However, thanks to the AUIS Admission Office, I was offered the opportunity to serve as  a student instructor at the Summer Honors English Program (SHEP). 

 I received an e-mail from the AUIS Admission office stating that, “this summer AUIS’s Admissions Office will be teaching its first ever AUIS Summer Honors English Program! The program is free opportunity for top English-speaking 12th graders to get free English lessons and learn more about AUIS!" I found the course really interesting and wondered how I could be involved. Happily, the e-mail also indicated that the Admission Office would hire active and experienced students from among the AUIS student body .Luckily, I was selected to assist one of the instructors and work as a student instructor.

Now, I am experiencing some of the most beautiful moments of my life. An AUIS APP instructor and I are leading a section of the course. We have about thirty 12th graders. It is worth mentioning that SHEP is a chance for the best English-speaking high school students in Sulaimani to improve their language skills. We have a lively mixture of fun English group activities, group work, and some English projects every day.  

SHEP not only provides me with an opportunity to enjoy my summer break, but also gives me work experience for my future careers. What could be more interesting than being both an instructor and a student? It is a great feeling when you have the chance to be called a "teacher" while you are too young to have the title. SHEP dramatically increases my teaching and leadership skills. Every day, I learn something new as I work with wonderful students who are truly in love with the English Language and new ideas.  

More to the point, SHEP allows me to implement what I was taught in the Georgetown University last year. I spent last summer at Georgetown University in Washington DC. We had various academic and leadership training programs for three weeks. I would never be able to recall all the necessary skills I was taught during the program. However, one of my Georgetown professors said something at the end of the course that is always in my mind. He said, "Try to implement whatever you have learned over this course when you return home." Now, I am happy to be able to contribute the knowledge I achieved during the program in the States. I am so happy that I could keep the promise I made to my professor.

SHEP reminds me so much of the great moments I spent in Georgetown. We do a lot of same activities and English projects here at AUIS. One thing that really brought tears to my eyes today was a statement that a group of the students wrote on their posters to me. They wrote, "We dedicate this to you dear Mr. Mahdy. We hope you like it." I was almost crying when I read the message. It was very similar to what I used to write on several posters I did last summer in Georgetown. The only difference was that I wrote for my professors last year, but this time some students wrote it for me. 

Last but not the least, I am grateful for all the contributions and enthusiasm that the students have shown during the course. I will never forget the great moments I shared with you all and will continue to share in the coming days this summer. You all bring more fruit to my life every day as we talk, walk, and do activities with each other.