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Languages at UW-Madison

Home > Alumni > Samantha A.

Samantha A.

Major(s) and Certificate(s) 

Hebrew and Environmental Studies (majors), Jewish Studies (certificate)

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

I worked at Camp Badger on campus over the summer.

What motivated you to study this/these languages? 

I attended a Jewish day school from pre-school through 8th grade and loved speaking, reading, and writing in Hebrew, so I continued studying it through high school in Hebrew school. The next logical step was to study Hebrew in college so I could continue using a language I love!

How have these languages enriched your life? 

Being able to speak Hebrew is always an interesting talking point. When I tell people that I majored in Environmental Studies and Hebrew, it sparks conversation. I have also had the pleasure of finding people in a variety of places who also speak Hebrew. Speaking Hebrew has also inspired me to take a trip to Israel someday soon.

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

My classes had a small number of students, which meant I was able to get the help and attention I needed to improve my skills. The smaller class sizes allowed me to get to know the professors and other students well which made the class more fun and beneficial. Small class sizes also provide a lot more time to practice speaking in class with other Hebrew speakers.

How valuable were your out-of-classroom experiences? 

Participating in organizations at Hillel kept me close to the Jewish community and other Hebrew speakers. Hillel is also where I met some of my closest college friends.

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

Since graduation, I have kept up my Hebrew skills by speaking it occasionally with friends and reading Israeli friends' Facebook posts in Hebrew.

What advice do you have for current language students? 

My advice for current language students is to find a group of people to speak with outside of class. The best way to keep up your language skills is to speak as much as possible!

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

אני is "me," מי is "who," הוא is "he," היא is "she," and דג is "fish"