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Old 05-17-2015, 11:52 AM   #1
Iguana_Away
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Question A few (<-- This is a lie) questions about being a CTI?

After a couple minutes of ctrl+F I found this forum. Yay me!

So I have a few questions regarding the DLI and being out in the fleet.~

1. I got a reasonably high score on my DLAB, will that impact the languages I want to take? I was hoping for something like Arabic, but I'm also a Nordic girl, which I can understand dropping me out of that category.

2. Life at the DLI, is it hard? I know the website says 2-3 hours of homework, but do they mean 2-3 hours for a quick person, or 2-3 hours for a slow person?

3. How many languages do you get to learn? Do you only get one, or can you get more?

4. When you join the fleet, I was told there's a possibility of being actively translating with a special forces group. Is this true? Do you have to qualify for something?

5. Do you bunk with someone at the DLI? If so, are they also learning your language, or is communication hopeless?

6. After you get out of your blackout phase, do you get to go off base/have your phone/laptop/whatever else?

7. So after basic, I'll go to the DLI, from my understanding, does this mean I can have my parents pack me a small backpack with my laptop/cell/whatever or would they have to mail that? Or is there some other way to get that?
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:50 PM   #2
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I've been out of DLI a little less than a year now, so things might not be exactly the same, but here goes:

1. A high DLAB score will definitely help, but it's really dependent on what slots they have open. They'll also look at what other languages you have experience with, what kind of assignments you want etc.

2. It depends on the language/teaching team. Generally Chinese/Korean are the most homework intensive, but even that can vary. I'm a Chinese linguist and we had 2~3 hours of homework a night (this was 2 hours for those at the top of class and closer to 4 for the guys who were struggling) for the first year or so and then tapered off at the end of the class when we knew how to study on our own.

3. One at a time. If you re-enlist you've got a good chance of going back to DLI at some point.

4. That isn't a first term assignment. You'd have to re-enlist to get something like that. And yes, you have to qualify physically.

5. Yes, most rooms are doubles or triples. You can qualify for a single by keeping your room clean/grades up etc. 2 of my 3 roommates (to be clear, I lived in doubles with 3 other people in succession) were also Chinese, but it just happened that way, rooms are assigned without regard to language.

6. You can have cell phones/laptops etc immediately. Phase 1 is uniform, no offbase (unless in the duty vehicle for something official), 2200 curfew. Two weeks, get your watch qual, inspections etc you can get Phase 2, civies, offbase privileges, 2200 weeknights/2400 weekend curfew. Two more weeks, more inspections and training courses, phase 3 is overnight liberty.

7. My parents mailed it to me because my time at bootcamp was complicated and I didn't have a graduation. For people with graduations - you get liberty with your family and then go back to your compartment to get bussed to the airport. You can ask your family to bring it and meet you at the airport. Don't take it back to the compartment.
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:55 PM   #3
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Thank you for answering! :D

I've never had any experience with formal learning of other languages before, so does that mean I could end up with Spanish? No offense to Spanish folks, but I'm hoping for a more interesting language.

And does talking with your family make learning harder? In my family, only my father has a working vocabulary in other languages, and of those, we could really only talk about buying things and where the bathroom is. So, I'd have to use English, is that detrimental, or does it not impact learning a language?
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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Spanish is the easiest language to qualify for (DLAB-wise), so they tend to save it for the people with the lowest DLAB scores. I have known a few Hispanic sailors who qualified for CAT IV languages but requested Spanish instead since they already knew it though.

Look, you're not going to speak your language 24/7 most of the time, and that's okay. The main thing is to not speak English to your teachers if you know how to say in your language. We sometimes reinforced our bad habits/grammar by speaking Chinese without the teachers around to correct us.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:08 PM   #5
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Ah, okay. Thank you very much!

What is the day-to-day life of being a CTI like? Is it all sit at a computer and work?
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:15 PM   #6
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As a shore sailor, yes, you sit at a computer and work. There are also opportunities to go aircrew or dirsup (deploying on ships, but not assigned to one) straight out of DLI but it's luck of the draw most of the time.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:17 PM   #7
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Okay, cool. What about the food at the DLI, is it good, bad?
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:21 PM   #8
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It was pretty decent, in my opinion. There were enough options that there was always something I wanted to eat. ejwelch disagrees with me though, so your opinion may vary.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:05 PM   #9
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So what about my parents, would they be allowed to visit, and I could meet them off-base or is that a no-no?

And leave, do I get any while I'm there?
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
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A school isn't prison, you know. You can have all the visitors you like, as long as you're taking care of your schoolwork and military duties. They can even come on base, as long as they have ID.

As far as leave goes, you'll get a week somewhere towards the middle of your class for "class break" and as much as 2 weeks at Christmas (it's your choice whether or not take leave and how much to take). Some people took leave over the 4 day weekends (such as memorial day or 4th of july), but other leave that falls during class probably won't be approved. You'll also get a big chunk of leave authorized between A school and your 1st duty station, so you might want to save some.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:50 PM   #11
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Haha, thank you for answering my questions! Super excited about going in, and I'm less worried about the DLI now.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:29 PM   #12
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ha yea sorry I am a downer on the food! Just wasn't for me. I was also up the hill so bela's apparently was worse then the other one.

DLI is what you make it. Biggest advice it just know what makes you relax and make sure you fit that in your life so you aren't going crazy.

I didn't end up with spanish but to be honest I almost did (my original dlab score was low) but the liaison at meps sold me on. Working with regards to warm tropical places would have been a plus but alas not what I got. I love what I got though so its not that bad. You may get a sort of "choice" if you are in one of the first divs of your group to go through. and when I say choice its more like well what do you want? ooohh ok well we only have a and b so choice or yeaaa youre going to get A. -_-


I am shore and its been pretty chill so far. Kinda which I had gotten dirsup since sailors should be on ships but there is always a next time.

You'll enjoy DLI though. Beware of underage drinking (lots of issues while I was there and the last few months I have been gone) and places like the bull and bear (formerly the mucky duck) as they are ways people get in trouble quickly!

Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:25 PM   #13
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Default "A" school start dates

Anybody have any information about when the "A" schools start.

Once a year? Twice a year? etc.

Specifically looking for info on the Chinese program. That is the one I'm shooting to get into.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodelookout View Post
Anybody have any information about when the "A" schools start.

Once a year? Twice a year? etc.

Specifically looking for info on the Chinese program. That is the one I'm shooting to get into.
Depends on how many people they're pushing through. Also, you most likely won't start school anyway right when you get there and will be waiting for a class to start regardless. So just focus on getting qualified first. If you get a slot, they'll take care of the school dates for you.

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Old 07-13-2015, 11:12 PM   #15
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After a couple minutes of ctrl+F I found this forum. Yay me!

So I have a few questions regarding the DLI and being out in the fleet.~

1. I got a reasonably high score on my DLAB, will that impact the languages I want to take? I was hoping for something like Arabic, but I'm also a Nordic girl, which I can understand dropping me out of that category.

Honestly, it depends on what's available. There's almost no impact on DLAB score because the way students are placed in classes.

2. Life at the DLI, is it hard? I know the website says 2-3 hours of homework, but do they mean 2-3 hours for a quick person, or 2-3 hours for a slow person?

Yes, it is hard. Period. You're going to work a lot and have military responsibilities.

3. How many languages do you get to learn? Do you only get one, or can you get more?

If you pass the basic course and go on to do your job, you can have an opportunity to return.

4. When you join the fleet, I was told there's a possibility of being actively translating with a special forces group. Is this true? Do you have to qualify for something?

Yes and yes.

5. Do you bunk with someone at the DLI? If so, are they also learning your language, or is communication hopeless?

None of my roommates have ever had my language.

6. After you get out of your blackout phase, do you get to go off base/have your phone/laptop/whatever else?

Yes.

7. So after basic, I'll go to the DLI, from my understanding, does this mean I can have my parents pack me a small backpack with my laptop/cell/whatever or would they have to mail that? Or is there some other way to get that?

Get them to bring it to the airport the day you fly from GL.


I'm currently there right now. Finishing up class. PM me if you need anything in particular.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodelookout View Post
Anybody have any information about when the "A" schools start.

Once a year? Twice a year? etc.

Specifically looking for info on the Chinese program. That is the one I'm shooting to get into.
I was a unicorn and got to start as soon as I got there! Most people are on hold in the sailorization division for a month or so. There are numerous classes for every language ever fiscal year.... my school house was small and had almost 10 a year but it is integrated with other branches.

Dont get your hopes up to get what you want language wise though. When I was in RTC and we got assigned our languages I had two options that I did not want. He still asked our top three and I told him. I ended up lucking out and getting my 2nd choice and I couldn't be happier. and out of the large group I graduated RTC with only 1 person got chinese.


End game: Hope for the best expect the worst! Good luck!
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