Erik Molina – Who says learning languages is too hard? (Spanish, Turkish, Russian, French, Portuguese)

All Student Stories, Bachelor's Degree International Studies, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Story taken from interview with Erik, BAIS/MANPTS, ’18; Written by K.Throgmorton

Who says learning languages is too hard? Well, a lot of people actually. Enough that Erik listened to them for a while in high school. It was until he tried for himself that he found learning languages was actually pretty easy. Easy perhaps isn’t the best word but languages do come quickly for Erik.

Adlan Margoev – You Never Know What is Best for You (Persian)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

  Story by Adlan Margoev, Dual degree NPTS (MIIS/MGIMO), ’18

Since I remember myself, I’ve barely spent a day speaking just one language. My parents come from the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia, where around ten thousand people, called the Kists, have been living for a couple of centuries. Another ten thousand, my family included, live in Russia and some other parts of the world.

Elizabeth Anderson – Pieces of the Puzzle (Spanish, Arabic)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

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.

Julia Diamond – New Ways of Thinking and Understanding (Russian)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Story written by Julia Diamond, NPTS, ’17

For me, Russian language has been a key to answering many questions about the relationship between Russian and Soviet societies and their domestic and foreign policies. Aside from always having a Russian gymnastics coach and ballet teachers, I became especially motivated to learn Russian after participating in a Russian ballet summer intensive in 2009. While we found ways to communicate, I always wanted to be able to understand and speak their language to discover what to me were secrets of their culture and outlook.

Matt Levie – Not a Spy, Not James Bond: It’s about making connections (Russian)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Story by Matt Levie, MPA, ’18

When I was young, every day after school I would take the bus all the way across New York City to the Mid-Manhattan Library downtown, because on the third floor they had language textbooks. At my school there was a pretty good language program; you could learn French, Spanish, German or Latin, but I was fascinated by exotic languages that people don’t usually learn in American schools. I dabbled in Romanian, Welsh, Japanese, Swahili and Russian.

Kathryn Smart – Learning the Local Language to Learn the Culture (Russian, Chechen)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Story written by Kathryn Smart, NPTS, ’17

While living in Chechnya, it was common for me to be walking down the street and suddenly hear deep voices yelling something in my direction. Sometimes it was someone asking for directions or yelling at me for breaking social norms.