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The Language of Giving Back

Vasilia Pallis '24

Student Snapshot: Vasilisa Pallis ’24

Born in Ukraine and now living in the U.S., Vasilisa Pallis ’24 was attracted to Dickinson on the strength of the college’s global-education programs. As a study-abroad student in Germany, she taught Ukrainian-refugee students English and translated for the German Red Cross. She also volunteered for the German Special Olympics.

Hometown:

Vernon, N.J. (originally from Odesa, Ukraine).

Majors:

Russian and German.

Scholarships/awards/honors:

Usedom Beach Scholarship.

Clubs and organizations:  

Russian Club (vice president), German Club and Writing Center (tutor for German-language writing).

Best thing about my majors:

The best things about my majors are the professors. They are always eager to help you and make you feel excited to learn the languages.

On choosing Dickinson:

I decided to attend Dickinson because of the college’s amazing language programs as well as its outstanding study-abroad programs.

On studying abroad:
I studied abroad in Bremen, Germany, for a full year (2022-23). It was an incredible opportunity to not only learn so much German but to get to live independently. I had an amazing experience meeting new people, taking classes at the Universität of Bremen and going to soccer matches.

On volunteering abroad:

While studying abroad, it was fulfilling to volunteer with Ukrainian refugees. I started a sprachcafé [language café] for students from Ukraine. There, I got to get to know them and teach them English. It was a really cool experience, because there were moments when we were speaking three different languages at once (Russian, English and German).

I also volunteered for the German Red Cross. As a translator for Ukrainian refugees, I would translate things either from German to Russian or English to Russian.

I also was very lucky to volunteer with the Special Olympics in Bremen. It was awesome to welcome athletes from the U.S. to Bremen and show them around before they headed off to Berlin. All in all, it was an unforgettable experience that I’m very grateful for.

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Published January 19, 2024