Mary Adewusi, Mount Holyoke College 2012, Yoruba
"Both my parents speak Yoruba and my grandmother in Nigeria only speaks Yoruba so I wanted to be able to communicate with her."
Frances Black, Smith College 2014, Turkish
"When I started college, I knew I wanted to study a Middle Eastern language as that area of the globe fascinates me and has a great deal of opportunity if you're willing to learn the language. I originally thought I would learn Arabic, however, Turkey had always seemed like an amazing place."
Eliza Burns, Smith College 2010, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian
"I worked with the Global Children's Organization during the summer of 2005 outside of Sarajevo. We worked in partnership with volunteers from the region to create a summer camp for children from Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia."
Caitlin Coughlan, University of Massachusetts Amherst 2011, Pashto
"Pashto has really expanded my career opportunities and my understanding of the region. Learning from mentors who are actually from the region where the language is spoken is a great help when it comes to new words and cultural lessons."
Adrienne Layne DiMarco, Hampshire College 2011, Swahili
"Since taking Swahili, my entire course of study at Hampshire has shifted. It has been the backbone of my interest in East African dance and performance in general. I was able to travel to Moshi, Tanzania in January 2010 where I taught in a local nursery school."
Kathryn Fahey, University of Massachusetts Amherst 2011, Swahili
"Learning Swahili has not only given me an opportunity to learn a language that could be helpful in my future work but it also gave me lessons about the culture I could potentially work with."
John Fallon, University of Massachusetts Amherst 2011, Colloquial Levantine Arabic
"Learning Levantine Arabic has encouraged me to pursue my goal of working for a human rights organization in the Levant. It has also encouraged me to pursue my studies of Arabic, and the Middle East, more broadly, but also to continue my studies of the language after graduating. I hope to be able to return to Jordan within the coming years..."
Eamonn James Gallagher, Hampshire College 2012, Romanian
"I chose to study Romanian out of a desire to reconcile studying Eastern Europe with a wish to study a Romance language, and also because the history of the country interested me."
Alissa Michal Graff, Hampshire College 2014, Swahili
"I chose to study Swahili because it seemed like an interesting language to learn and helpful if I want to study abroad in Southeastern Africa in the future. Also, I hope knowing some Swahili will help me when I try to learn Arabic since there are aspects of Arabic in Swahili."
Jeffrey Haines, University of Massachusetts Amherst 2011, Persian
"I decided to take Persian last year because I knew that Iran was a major player in the world political scene and because I was thinking of diplomacy as a future career."
Hannah Howard, Mount Holyoke College 2012, Colloquial Levantine Arabic
"I think that there is nothing more valuable than being able to communicate with the people I'd like to help directly and candidly...I've chosen to primarily study 'Aamia precisely because I want to enter a dialogue with Arab women and girls, and learn from them what they want for their futures, so that I can help them achieve it."
Benjamin Lin, Amherst College 2012, Turkish
"Turkey has fascinated me for many years, ever since I made a chance visit as a kid. My freshman year, I met a Turkish classmate, and that added to the decision to try and study Turkish." Fall 2012 update: Benjamin Lin was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Turkey. He will be researching earthquakes and public policy and also taking courses at Bogaziçi University.
Julie Schott, Mount Holyoke College 2011, Hindi
"I originally started learning Hindi so I could learn more about Indian culture and navigate Delhi and other areas of North India when I studied abroad."
Melissa Sullivan, Amherst College 2012, Swahili
"While I began studying Swahili as a means to simply learn the language and culture of East Africa, I have since realized the ways that Swahili can apply to future plans. I haven't had the opportunity to travel there, but I hope to do so in the next few years."
August Thomas, University of Massachusetts Amherst 2009, Turkish
"Learning Turkish has opened up another world to me, and the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages has been an amazing resource every step of the way. As a direct result of studying Turkish at the Center, I was able to spend the summer of 2009 in Ankara on a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship."
Andrea Wise, Amherst College 2011, Colloquial Levantine Arabic
"I really enjoy learning and speaking Levantine, so I want to pursue it after graduation. My future plans are more related to work within the U.S., so I will pursue Arabic as a personal endeavor. I just like the language for building personal relationships with Arabic speakers and learning more about Arab culture."