Di Wang

Credentials: 2022 WISLI Elementary Persian Student

Language Institute and Level: APTLI / Elementary Persian

Why did you choose to study a language through WISLI? What attracted you to our program specifically?

I think WISLI has a very long history of excellency instruction in many less commonly taught languages and also a lot of students in my field, Central Asian in History, it seems they all studied in WISLI at some point. So I feel like I’m checking a mark but also very happy to have the opportunity to study here. Besides, due to the pandemic, there were not a lot in-person language learning programs and WISLI still does. So it is really so great to study here.

How has studying a less commonly taught language enriched your life?

I think that learning a less commonly taught language really helped me to learn the history and culture of Persian language and Persian speaking countries as well as get to know the convention of Persian speakers. While learning Persian, I noticed the limitation of translation because a lot of things are not easily translatable into English. So I kind of learnt to express myself in a way that is more along the cultural convention of Persian speakers. It’s like learning a new way of thinking of how to express yourself.

What makes studying a language at WISLI/UW-Madison unique to you?

I think UW-Madison has the most beautiful campus I’ve ever visited. So I think while studying here I can balance my intensive studies with healthy lifestyle. Studying here really helps me stay healthy physically and mentally.

How do you plan to use the language you’re learning in your personal/professional journey?

I’m a history doctoral student and I study the transportation network of Central Asian from the 16th to 19th century especially the transportation facilities, infrastructure, methods of transportation so to study this topic, I need to read all documents written in Persian That is why I wanted to study Persian and I’m hoping to continue to study this language and eventually be able to read and critically analyze the documents.

What are you most looking forward to in your language program?

I have attended many events and was very active. I really liked the picnic point meet up. I got to meet other students in the same programs or sister programs. I also really liked the workshops and lectures, I learnt a lot from these events. I also attended the WISLI student conference and presented my research. There are many other events that I really like.

What has been the impact of the  WISLI Tuition Scholarship for you?  What would you say to other students who might be interested in applying for the scholarship?

I feel like I was very fortunate to receive the WISLI tuition scholarship. As an international student, there are not many funding opportunities that we are eligible to apply for. With the WISLI tuition scholarship, I got the opportunity to study a language that is critical to my research. I am very lucky to have this opportunity. As for suggestions to the other applicants, I would say that it is important to highlight why the tuition scholarship will benefit you like personally or professionally. I think this is very important.

Do you have any advice for students who are studying the same language as you?

I would say a lot of repetition, although it doesn’t sound fun, it is the way our brain learns so I feel after a lot of repetition, I noticed how I could speak naturally without thinking about grammar and when you stop thinking about grammar, the language really becomes your own.

What is your favorite word/phrase/proverb in your language?

There is one, my favorite proverb in Persian is ‘ز گهواره تا گور دانس بجوی’, which means seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.