Destination Tonga: Five Students Design Their Own Journey

When linguists head into remote areas to study indigenous languages, they often face steep logistical hurdles: where to stay, what to eat (and what to avoid), how to find local speakers (known to linguists as “language consultants”), and how to reach them, all within a fixed budget and time frame.

At Dartmouth, that kind of planning for a foreign study program (FSP) is usually done by faculty, with support from the Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education. But last winter, Lindsay Whaley, a professor of classics and linguistics who led an FSP in Auckland, New Zealand, launched an experiment. He added a side trip, to Tonga, and he asked five student travelers—Danielle Kroll ’18, Drusilla Falco ’18, Anissa Gladney ’18, Shirley Gabber ’18, and Emma Rieb ’18—to take full responsibility for preparations. “We wanted them to experience for themselves the challenges of managing a field trip, because in the real world, that’s a crucial part of what linguists have to do,” Whaley says.

Read more of this story here: Dartmouth News