Mozaiko Living Learning Community (LLC) Spotlight: Sarah Shelton
May 12, 2020
Based out of Harper Hall on Virginia Tech’s campus, U.S. and international students live together in a diverse community where they learn about each other’s culture, immerse themselves in language practice, and prepare for a lifetime of intercultural leadership in the Mozaiko Living Learning Community (LLC).
When asked why she applied to live in Mozaiko, Sophomore Sarah Shelton had the following response.
“When I was coming to Tech (even before my freshman year), I knew that I wanted to be a part of a global community. I took French in high school, and I wanted to continue to practice it here, so that was something that really appealed to me. In Mozaiko, we’re split into houses based on different languages — I live with all the people that are in the French house. The full community does events together, but each house does its own events as well.”
When asked about her experience in Mozaiko, Sarah gave the below overview about living in the French House.
“We have weekly meetings, where we are required to work on particular topics surrounding culture, language, and grammar. I co-run these meetings, and we just finished executing a Mardi Gras celebration for the community. If students are either a Global Mentor or a member of the International Business Program, they can attend the community events.”
Sarah also provided insight as to what living in Mozaiko entails.
“It’s a really nice global community. I have friends from all over the world, which is awesome. It’s cool to see how others have different perspectives and experiences. I might have one view on something, but it comes from an American lens, and then others have a different perspective — and we can all talk about it.”
“We have different weekly events like ‘World on Wednesdays,’ which is where either a guest speaker joins the group or somebody within the community shares their cultural experience. We spend this time discussing current events, varying cultures, and differences in language.”
“We also have a session called, ‘Controversial Conversations,’ where we choose a topic that is contentious, and we talk about the differences of how people view it around the world — while also sharing our own personal opinions.”
Sarah’s passion for languages and different cultures has ultimately guided her to pursue a career in International Business.
“I wanted something that would mix my love of languages and cultures with my interest in business. I’ve always known that I wanted to do something with my French — I’m not just learning it to learn it. I love the language, and I want to use it, so I thought International Business would be the perfect way for me to combine all of those things. Additionally, I want to work internationally.”
Speaking of international programs, Sarah also has plans to study abroad.
“This summer, I’m going to Paris with the College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences. In addition to receiving course credits, I’m hoping this program will improve my French, and I want to get to know Paris better.”
“I also applied to a program in France for the fall, where I would be studying International Business. I want to get a more global view of studying International Business, and I know studies can be limited when restricted to the local campus. We have our own view of things here, so I want to experience life from the European locale. I know that I ultimately want to work in France or another European country after graduating, so these experiences will definitely help me achieve that goal.”
“All of the classes that I take will be in French, and I will also be going to Lugano in the spring with Pamplin. Again, this is to get a more global view when learning business internationally. Studying abroad will allow me to travel, experience different cultures, and meet new people.”
Key Advice From Sarah To Students Who Are Considering Living In Mozaiko
“Try to get the most out of it that you can — attend as many events as possible, speak to other people, work on your language skills, and ask questions. People are from all over the world, and they have different perspectives on pretty much everything, and it’s really neat to learn.”
Sarah also works in Pamplin’s International Programs Office, where she collaborates with others on different events. She is also an active member of the Global Mentors and Mozaiko’s International Business Programs.
Written by Sandy Bass