My family came to US as refugees and I needed to learn English in order to integrate and succeed in the society. I learned the basics of the English language in community college and when I started JMU I still needed to improve it further. I started seeking resources that I could utilize to help me with college level English. I have discovered that JMU had a writing center, where I used to go a lot to get help. That is where I met Kristen who had special touch interacting with international students and students whose native language was not English. She worked with several other students who also wanted to improve their English skills and we organized a meeting time and start meeting on regular basis. That’s how we started Multilingual Writers’ Community. I joined MWC my first year of college and was active member until I graduated.
By joining MWC my goal was to improve my writing which I ultimately achieved. However, there were so many other benefits that came from MWC and it will take me all day to list all of them. For instance, at the end of our meetings we used to read our essays to each other, where we all commented on grammatical error and anything else that needed to be improved. As we went through this exercise we learned from each other and our writing improved every time. Personally, I am still learning English and adapting to American culture and MWC was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge about American cultural as well other cultures. In our meeting we had students from different countries and it was always exciting to hear each other background. Also our small conversation/discussion that we had during our group meetings helped me to communicate better with my peers. First two years of my undergraduate I did free writing, however as I entered my junior year more and more of my free time was occupied working on application for medical school that required great deal of work. Each school had their own specific essay questions pertaining to their school. Also as honor student I needed to write my thesis in order to finish my honor program, which also put pressure on my free time. Those two years I missed free writing but on other hand I did a lot of academic oriented writing which I learned a great deal from.
MWC definitely helped to expand my writing skills and also improve my critical thinking skills. As a result of being involved with MWC I feel better prepared on my field of studies because it gives an upper hand when it comes writing research paper or reviewing scientific articles. I am glad that I joined MWC and encourage others to take full advantages of the benefits it offers to students.
Ahmad is currently completing a post baccalaureate year at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.