Imagine what life would be like if you were limited to one job, one language, and one world. Everything feels black and white with the same routine repeating over and over again. But what if you could do something to add a little color to your life? What if you discovered a bridge that led you to colorful, diverse worlds just from sitting in your room?
25-year-old Syrian dentist Tareq Layka discovered this bridge when he joined Paper Airplanes in fall 2019 as a student. His cousin had shown him the organization’s Facebook ad, and he decided that it was a chance to fuel his interest in online education and personal development.
Tareq Layka, Paper Airplanes student
As a first-time student, he was nervous, yet excited, but was relieved when he met his first tutor, who was from South Africa. He says that, “especially with her accent, the class was interesting at first.” But while moving through the English program’s curriculum, he learned about South Africa’s lifestyle, social challenges, and enriching culture.
It was a colorful world Layka had never encountered. His exchanges with his tutor motivated him to learn more about South Africa and sparked his interest in learning about new countries. From then on, he found opportunities to interact with individuals from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. His world began to expand with his “diverse, multifaceted experiences, which led to connections and additional opportunities.”
In Syria, Layka was not able to learn English because many people do not speak the language. Therefore, it is considered unnecessary. However, he explained that learning English was a “life-changing experience that allowed him to gain amazing connections with people who are native speakers of English.” By learning English through Paper Airplanes, he developed more confidence and was able to “meet new people who have different perspectives and opinions.”
English was the bridge that allowed him to broaden his perspective of the world. What could yours be?
About the author: Soumya
My name is Soumya Adusumilli and I am a first-year business administration student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. I truly enjoy reading, writing, and watching movies in my free time. I have been a part of Paper Airplanes since 2018 and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to continue my journey with this inspirational organization. I am also involved in entrepreneurship and lead The Intrepid, which is the voice of my college's entrepreneurship community. In the future I hope to accomplish my lifelong dream of visiting the seven wonders of the world!
The views and opinions represented in this post belong solely to the author of the blog post, and are not representative of the views and policies of Paper Airplanes and its staff members.