"I always had native Spanish speakers [in class] which was an encouraging challenge that helped me realize that I had more to learn but could still communicate with native Spanish speakers."
Major(s) and Certificate(s): Life Sciences Communication
Graduation Year: 2013
Current Location: Madison, WI
What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?
Since graduating from UW-Madison, I worked in communications and administration at the UW Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Office. After about 1.5 years in that role, I took a Teaching English Second Language (TEFL) Certificate through Wisconsin ESL Institute’s Teacher Training Program. Before and after that course, I became involved with international students studying English and now teach, do communications, and do administration for WESLI working with international students from all over the world every day. It’s a dream come true with more dreams planned to teach abroad!
What motivated you to study this/these languages?
I was planning on majoring in Spanish with the hopes of studying abroad in Spain or another country. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to study abroad (do so if you can!). I wanted to study Spanish as it is a useful language and widely used within the United States and abroad. I found my knack in communications and decided to focus solely on this field with my other responsibilities.
How have these languages enriched your life?
Having a familiarity in Spanish has enriched my life by feeling more confident when it comes to interacting with other language speakers. When I have traveled to Spanish-speaking countries, it was useful to get around in travel and to connect better with locals. In daily life, it helps me connect with non-native English speakers at my work and in my community.
What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?
I always had native Spanish speakers which was an encouraging challenge that helped me realize that I had more to learn but could still communicate with native Spanish speakers. These classes were different from other classes I took because I had to think in new ways and learn more about Spanish-speaking cultures that spurred reflection.
How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?
I have studied and reviewed Spanish on my own and used it in travel. I also read or watch shows in Spanish to practice my listening skills.
What advice do you have for current language students?
Don’t give up! It’s such a useful skill and can take you ANYWHERE! There are so many opportunities to get involved with local international communities. Practice with native speakers and don’t be shy!
What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?
Vamos – Let’s go!