Alumni Voices

Interested in what SEASSI alumni have to say about the program? Check out the Quotes from Alumni and Advice for Future Cohorts below!

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Quotes from SEASSI Alumni

“I highly recommend SEASSI for the immersive experience.”

“This experience is one of a kind and you will surprise yourself with how much you learn in such a short amount of time.”

“The teachers are the best. I really learned a lot. The program definitely increases my passion for learning about [the target country].”

“SEASSI was immensely beneficial to my language learning. Before I came here, I didn’t know any Indonesian, but now I am pretty comfortable conversing in [the target language], and I am much more confident about my abilities when I go to [the target country].”

“I loved SEASSI. Despite the many mistakes I made during the semester, I could see how much I was improving from week to week. Every day, I encountered something new, whether it was a host of new words, an unfamiliar facet of [the target] culture, or even something about myself as a student and language learner. Being a part of this program was an absolute treat, and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning a language!”

“SEASSI is one of the best opportunities available for Southeast Asian Language Learners to become truly proficient and fluent in their target language. SEASSI was an excellent way for me to go from a beginner language learner to advanced and replicated an immersive environment in the country where my target language was spoken. I would highly recommend SEASSI not only for the exceptional instruction but also for the opportunity to meet students from diverse backgrounds, learn about the host country culture, and fun activities at the beautiful University of Wisconsin-Madison campus!”

“SEASSI is by far the best way to learn [the target language] for a language learner! I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

“If you want to learn [a Southeast Asian language], this is the place to be!”

“I loved coming to SEASSI and getting to know my fellow students and instructors. I felt like I got a really good handle on my language course, and I would definitely come again.”

“SEASSI was intense, transformative, and also a lot of fun! Remember to sleep!”

Students near the Van Hise building on UW-Madison's campus, participating in a cultural exercise class
SEASSI students near Van Hise, the main building on UW-Madison's campus where SEASSI classes are held.

“[My instructor] was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my college experience and the content of the course seems to me like it will be extremely useful when I travel to [the target country] in the fall.”

“One of the best experiences of my entire life.”

“Great program to learn [the target language] quick.”

“SEASSI is an incredible experience! Anyone wanting to improve their language skills should definitely do it!”

“This intensive experience helped me find a community of amazing people with similar interests and passions for learning, a truly incredible gift.”

“SEASSI is everything you never expected and more! Dedicated instructors, classmates across all language levels and walks of life, learning that extends deep into a culture!”

“SEASSI is well worth the challenge as you will come out of the program with new knowledge and understanding of world cultures!”

Advice from SEASSI Alumni for Future Cohorts

  • “Do your best to enjoy it!!! I believe that SEASSI has a lot of potential to become a significantly different experience in comparison to your more regular college classes. In whatever capacity you can, identify and ground yourself in intrinsic motivation. Not only will this help make the entire experience better, but it will also help you get through moments of burn out and exhaustion that inevitably come with a program this intense. You can do it! <3”
  • “Spend the time learning vocabulary and nuances of the language.”
  • “Enjoy it.”
  • “Having study groups will help more than you think so lean on your classmates for extra help if you need.”
  • “Start the session with a strategy for learning the language on a daily basis. Take notes and make time for memorization each day.”
  • “Study hard, but also take breaks to meet the people you’re with and make time to relax!”
  • “Try not to treat your studies as something you “have” to do, but as something you want to do. One of the wonderful things about SEASSI is that your assignments can be a lot of fun, so long as you approach them as opportunities to learn and improve, as opposed to evaluations of your language ability that you’re obliged to complete. If you choose to make your work fun, it absolutely can be!”
  • “Do your [homework] and Pre-class assignments! Seize every opportunity while you’re here. You won’t regret working hard now for the all the benefits you’ll receive by the end of the program.”
  • “I would advise future cohorts to take advantage of the institutional amenities provided by UW-Madison including the libraries which have large and comprehensive collections of works in Southeast Asian languages.”
  • “Do not take on other jobs or obligations during this program. Unless you have a full scholarship, it is almost not worth doing the class if you can’t devote your 40 hours a week of work energy fully to it. The more ambitious you are, the less satisfied you’ll be.”
  • “Get a good night’s sleep lol.”
  • “Study, it will be worth it.”
  • “Make friends, lean into the community, have fun.”
  • “Do not have any other outside classes/jobs and you should be good!”
  • “Study hard and definitely make friends- it makes studying easier and more fun.”
  • “Make friends!”
  • “Don’t take SEASSI if you don’t have the drive and heart to learn the language. You make what you want of the program but for me, I felt like I had to engross my life into Thai as I took class in the morning and then I had to go home to again study Thai on my own. I recommend not working too, as the intensity and load of what comes with the program is very heavy.”
  • “Always give yourself the benefit of the doubt! You are more than you think you are capable of. Trust me when I say you are making progress even when it doesn’t feel like it.”
  • “Plan time wisely and include doing things away from your target language each day so you can get a break.”
  • “Stick with it and have fun!”