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Connecting through Language

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Kyle Studnicka Pineda is not your typical freshman. He boasts a comprehensive international background at the ripe age of 19. He now finds himself impassioned by the power of language in his Wisconsin Experience.

“Language learning at Madison affected me at Madison before I even started college,” the first-year student attests.

Studnicka just completed his first year with an intended degree path of Marketing, International Business and Italian. In high school, he took AP Italian and quickly passed out of the classes sending him to Van Hise to take courses at the University level. He’s always been interested in Italian since a young age, but didn’t start his studies until high school.

Italian, however, isn’t the only language Studnicka is learning or knows. His first language is actually Spanish. His mother is Mexican and Studnicka spent a lot of his life in Mexico, but his dad is Czech so he has always had an interest in the world and the languages that connect the people of it. 

He can speak Spanish, English, Italian, French and Portuguese. He looks to develop his Portuguese further through coursework next year, but feels he will stick with the Italian major throughout his undergraduate studies. He’s considered other languages and has attempted to study Japanese, Turkish, Arabic, Albanian and “very limited Chinese.”

“I don’t confuse the languages; I don’t have that many problems. [Instead,] I have an issue figuring out what to express,” said Studnicka on the subject of his polyglot abilities. 

The 19-year-old said his love of languages all stems back to the people and places he has been connected to. He established strong friendships with people that kept him curious. Along the way, he realized how great of an asset language is to supplement every degree path.

“There isn’t a major out there that wouldn’t benefit to learning another language,” said Studnicka. 

His degree studies and his love of language further inspired his classroom curiosity. Studnicka’s interest in language has become somewhat of a passion that stemmed from Intro to Romance Languages (429 Cross-listed). The course became a game-changer that defined how his multiplicity could be connected as his teacher explained the differences between languages and their collaboration through a complex network of borrowing and adapting. This passion has become a driving force for the first-year student.

“Passion for me is, as cliche as it sounds, is just happiness. Getting to know different cultures, people, places in the world that a lot of people haven’t been exposed to. And you can say I understand, I’ve been there, I know the values of this place.”

He seeks to spend his next few years at Madison sharing his multiplicity in perspective with his world views and unique amount of language studies. He hopes to leverage every opportunity to help him understand the world and people in it.

This perspective has also led him to spend the summer in one of the places he calls home in Oaxaca, Mexico through a business and design internship sponsored by the International Internship Program. He’ll be using his language abilities to promote his other passions, learn about small business and work in an intercultural setting.

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