Name: Raykhona Sayfiddinova
Hometown: Angren, Uzbekistan
Year in School: Junior
Major 1: Elementary Education
Major 2: Languages and Intercultural Studies
Could you imagine moving to another country without knowing a word of the language primarily spoken? This was the reality for Raykhona Sayfiddinova when she moved to the United States at the age of 10. Thanks to her mother, Raykhona started learning English right away as she was placed in both a regular fourth grade class and an ESOL class. She was a fast learner and once she mastered the English language she knew she didn’t want to stop there. A passion had developed.
“I think learning a foreign language is very important,” Raykhona says. “You get to meet new people, learn about new cultures and try different foods."
Coastal Carolina University appealed to Raykhona because it was the closest college to her hometown of Myrtle Beach. But the opportunities offered by CCU to learn new languages and study at the esteemed Spadoni College of Education were major selling points as well. Currently studying Russian and Spanish, Raykhona is satisfying her appetite for languages while inching closer to her dream of becoming a teacher.
Mentioning that “meeting friends and building connections” are what she has enjoyed most at Coastal, it comes as no surprise that Raykhona has joined several clubs. Involved in the Russian Club, Spanish Conversation Club and French Conversation Club, she balances these language activities by serving as a Floyd mentor and a Spadoni College of Education Research Fellow.
Raykhona wants to offer the same help to students she received when she first came to the United States. Her goal is to become an ESOL teacher and connect with those vulnerable students who are in a new land with minimal English skills. Make sure to seek Raykhona out while she is still on campus, you will be blown away by how smoothly she speaks and writes. While you are chatting with Raykhona, thank her for the important career she has chosen to pursue.
Q&A with Raykhona
How did you hear about Coastal?: I heard about CCU from my guidance counselor at Myrtle Beach High School.
Why did you come to Coastal?: I live in Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina University was the closest university to my house. The fact that it had a well-known education program was a plus.
Favorite professor: My favorite professor is Barbara Gasquet Carrera.
Favorite class: My favorite classes are Russian and Spanish. I love learning different languages and taking foreign language courses.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: I love going to the library, I feel like it’s my second home.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: I love the beach, so being close to it is always a plus.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: I am the vice president of the Student – South Carolina Education Association (S-SCEA) and the president of the Russian Club at CCU. I am also a member of the Foreign Language Honor Society. I also enjoy going to the Spanish Conversation Club meetings regularly. I am a Floyd mentor and I have been mentoring for a year and a half now. I also attend the French Conversation Club as much as I can.
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: I work at the Marriott OceanWatch during the weekends in the activities center. I get to spend the whole day with kids which I enjoy because I love youth. I am also a Research Fellow for the Spadoni College of Education.
Plans after graduation?: I want to travel around the world and teach foreign language to students. I want to become an ESOL teacher.
What are your hobbies? I love listening to music and baking. I enjoy watching movies and listening to music in different languages. I also enjoy learning different languages, finding out about different cultures and trying different types of food. I love spending time with my family; we love to go to the beach together. I also enjoy reading because it takes me to places that I have never been before. I also love to travel.
Bonus Info: I moved to the United States when I was 10 years old with my family. My dad won a green card and that’s how we ended up here. When I first came here, I didn’t speak any English, but they placed me in a regular fourth grade class as well as an ESOL class, where they taught me English. This is one of the main reasons I want to become an ESOL teacher in the future. I have been through this path so I think I can easily connect with the other students and help them learn a new language. That’s why I try to learn as many languages as I can so I can help as many people as I can. I think languages are so interesting in respect to how they are all different and yet the same in some way. I love how they are all connected and unique from one another.