News / USA

Foreign Students Adapt to Rigors of US Naval Academy

Foreign Students Adapt to Rigors of US Naval Academyi
X
Ramon Taylor
April 11, 2014 8:58 PM
Throughout its long history, the U.S. Naval Academy has produced prominent leaders, like former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Senator John McCain. The academy prepares young men and women to become officers in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. But not all of its undergraduate students - known as midshipmen - are American. Dozens are foreign exchange students who return home to serve their countries after graduating. Ramon Taylor has the story for VOA.
Foreign Students Adapt to Rigors of US Naval Academy
Ramon Taylor
Throughout its long history, the U.S. Naval Academy has produced prominent leaders, like former President Jimmy Carter and Senator John McCain.  The academy prepares young men and women to become officers in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. But not all of its undergraduate students - known as midshipmen - are American. Dozens are foreign exchange students who return home to serve their countries after graduating.
 
David Ochy of Panama is one of about 60 foreign exchange students currently studying at the U.S. Naval Academy in historic Annapolis, Maryland.
 
“Leaving the comfort zone of your country, to come here to a culture and language completely different from your own and adapt, has been a challenge,” said Ochy.
 
“It opens a cultural horizon so that one understands American culture better, and is more involved in the culture,” said Santiago Gonzalez-Ayer, an exchange student from Spain.

The Naval Academy was founded in 1845 on the grounds of an old fort.
 
Academy's mission

The academy says its mission is to prepare students to serve as officers in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. It strives to develop competence, character and compassion in its midshipmen.  
 
International program director Tim Disher said the U.S. Navy also benefits by opening up the program to foreign students, especially in a world increasingly connected through technology and social media.
 
“It used to be, when I graduated in 1981 from the Naval Academy, only the senior officers were the ones that had relationships with their foreign navies or our counterparts," said Disher. "That’s not the case anymore. We’re a smaller navy and our students, even as midshipmen, have the ability to make an impact with our foreign partners. We are creating young ambassadors ...right off the bat, right after they get commissioned."

Broadened horizons

He said the exchange also strengthens the education of U.S. midshipmen, by enhancing their international exposure and understanding.
  
“The world is becoming smaller and smaller. One day our students will be operating in the theaters or environments that they’ve explored in the context of their interpersonal relationships here at the Naval Academy with the foreign cadets, and vice versa. It’s important that our allies know exactly how we function or operate as a military,” said Navy Lieutenant Paul Angelo, who graduated from the academy in 2006.
 
After finishing the exchange program, Gonzalez Ayer plans to return to Spain and become a naval officer.
 
David Ochy wants to work as an ocean engineer back home.
 
“I see my future in Panama,” he said.
 
The hope is they return home richer for the cultural experience they lived and shared with their fellow midshipmen at the academy.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More