Story written by Miranda Meyer, IEM/MPA, ’18
Spanish and I have a love/hate relationship. Some days I absolutely love listening to it, speaking it, and thinking about it. Other days, I struggle to come up with words, my pronunciation is terrible, and if I hear one more song in Spanish I want to scream.
Story written by Erika Quinonez, IEM, ’17
My fascination with Brazilian culture began long before I started to learn Portuguese in a formal setting. I had a profound interest in the rhythm of the language, particularly when it came to Brazilian music and poetry. There were always classic Brazilian records playing on the turntable in my house while I was growing up, yet no one in my family spoke Portuguese. To this day, my Mexican family members always make fun of me because I speak Portuguese far better than I do Spanish. Well it has made reflecting on home, culture, language and self a bit more interesting, my family’s reactions are all in good fun (and of course, I promise them that one day my Spanish will be better than my Portuguese).
Story taken from interview with Elizabeth, NPTS, ’17; Written by K.Throgmorton
Elizabeth started her language journey with a high school student exchange program to Marbella, Spain. In that small coastal town, she learned Spanish through immersion in the culture and was able to gain proficiency in the language otherwise unattainable through classroom learning. That experience informed her decision while studying in university to pursue Italian in an immersion program, like she’d done in Spain. This time, her language journey took her to Sicily and a program that enhanced her degree in security studies with in-depth, localized studies of Mafia history. Continue reading
Story written by Ling Juan, IPD, ’18
Growing up in Taiwan, Mandarin was my first language. My first encounters with Korean were watching Korean dramas with my grandmother as a child. Learning Korean was naturally fun to me as a beginner; the pronunciation of Hanja is similar to Chinese and the spelling is alphabetic like English. The social aspect of Korea attracted my attention during my junior year when I spent a month at the University of Seoul. I appreciated learning about similarities between Korea and my country. I was touched to see how proudly Korea appreciates its tradition. After coming to Monterey, I developed interests in international relations and decided to focus my study on proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula.