PiA Fellow Facebook

2006-2007

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Vanessa Wu

Dalian, China

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, I am trading one beach obsessed city for another, Dalian. I am excited to improve my Chinese; hopefully I'll get to the point where people will stop asking me where I am "from" about twenty times a day. And, I have gotten used to defying gender norms by being the only girl when it comes to anything athletic. Also, I am desperately trying to stay abreast on pop culture news, though this has proven quite difficult as I have become infused with a liking for Chinese techno, China Daily and Chenglish.

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Diana Zackem

Gwangju, South Korea

A Southern girl at heart, she is excited to be going to South Korea to teach math to middle schoolers. She’s traveled the world and is excited to live overseas for more than one week. She is a civil engineer and really likes buildings.

Christine Zalocha

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Before joining PIA in October 2006, Christine was squatting in her NYC studio apartment and just finishing up a four year stint as a freelancer for magazine. In addition to her days spent interviewing men on the streets of NYC Christine made delicious brownies that were sold out daily at Bite coffee shops in SoHo from a secret recipe.  She also dabbled in film/television, working for grumpy directors and producers as an assistant to whiney celebrities. 

Christine hopes to inspire her friends in NYC to leave their corporate cubicles and come visit her in Thailand.  YOU CAN DO IT!

2005-2006

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Mallory Ahern

Wuhan, China

Mal Ahern studied at Simon’s Rock College and completed her degree at the University of Chicago, where she majored in Dead Gay French Men and minored in Dead Straight French Men. Both courses of study were completed, amazingly enough, without learning as much as a word of French. She intentds to spend much of her time in China atoning for the mistakes of her monolingual past, strengthening her immune system, and amassing a huge collection of pirated CDs and DVDs. Her other hobbies include jaywalking and breathing polluted air.

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Farook Ahmed

Fellow of the Fortnight

Gwangju, South Korea

Farook Ahmed is now entering his second year at Kwangju Foreign School in Kwangju, South Korea. In addition to teaching some of the most adorable looking kids he's ever seen, Farook spends his free time studying Korean language and learning Hapkido. Though horrifically graceless in his movements, Farook has managed to earn his purple belt and is on track to receive his 1st degree black belt sometime this winter. Farook loves Korea, possibly to an unhealthy extent: when at "home" in New York, Farook felt homesick for Korea and faced debilitating kimchi withdrawal symptoms. Farook tries to take full advantage of the incredible Korean countryside whenever he can. Farook is constantly floored by the precocity of his students as well as the friendliness and generosity of the people living in his host country.

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Karabekir Akkoyunlu

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Solo non-native speaker of the English language to join ranks with PiA teachers this year, Karabekir Akkoyunlu “Kara” hails from the last and the most picturesque stop of the Orient Express: Istanbul, Turkey. A direct descendent of Attila the Hun and Suleyman the Magnificent, this swashbuckling young gent is heading to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He swears that he remembers studying History and International Relations at Brown University, his acquaintances often point to Kara’s prodigious imagination and astonishing creativity as the source of such frivolous tales.

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Ana Barfield

Shanghai, China

Ana Barfield is going to Shanghai to work as a legal assistant for Coudert Brothers LLP. She was class of ‘04 at Princeton where she majored in Sociology and was interested in all things Russian. Looking for a new challenge, senior year she started taking Mandarin, which led her to move to Beijing after graduation to continue studying the language. She’s excited to experience life in another Chinese city, though she feels bittersweet about leaving Beijing, which has become a home away from home. She’s half-Serbian and half-English.

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Alisha Blechman

Hanoi, Vietnam

PiA 2nd Year

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Andrew Bollinger

Hangzhou, China

Born in 1980 and given the silent first name “Lynn”, Andrew grew up in the quiet suburbs of New York City and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2002. After brief and unsuccessful stinits in both frozen yogurt sales and gene maniuplation, he moved to Hamburg, Germany where he rediscovered the musical genius of David Hasselhof and learned to design products as “biologische und technische Naehrstoffe.” During his coming year in Asia, Andrew is looking forward to gaining proficiencey in Chinese gangsta rap and to an abundance of opportunities to embarass himself in front of strangers.

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David Boyd

Tokyo, Japan

David Boyd loves Tokyo very much. 

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