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Michael K.

Major(s) and Certificate(s) 

History and Religious Studies, Languages & Cultures of Asia (MA)

Graduation Year 
2004, 2009
Current city 
Current state/province/country (if outside US) 
What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison? 

I traveled to India for a research project during my MA. After graduating I worked at the Center for South Asia, taught some courses, and started a family. I currently work as an advisor at the UW-Madison Language Institute.

What motivated you to study this/these languages? 

I was interested in India during my undergraduate study of history and religion, and I thought I should study the language if I wanted to pursue those areas further. I took one Hindi class and loved it! I started Urdu about a year later.

How have these languages enriched your life? 

Hindi and Urdu have opened a whole new area in my life that I'd never have otherwise been exposed to. Learning a less-commonly taught language really set me apart as unique on the job market, and it's always amazing to surprise someone at an Indian restaurant by speaking Hindi while I order.

What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took? 

They were smaller and more personal - I made many friends that I'm still in touch with.

How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?  

I traveled and after that I try to maintain friendships with other speakers, but it's definitely a challenge.

What advice do you have for current language students? 

Keep it up! You never know where your language will lead you.

What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know? 

Jo ho so ho - What is to happen should happen.