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Students Expand Worldview Through Summer Study Abroad Trips

Students Expand Worldview Through Summer Study Abroad Trips

written by Dr. Ana Barrios

Learn a new language and open one more window from which to look at the world.

Among the students who had the privilege of traveling abroad this summer, there are four intrepid students who traveled to Costa Rica and France for immersion in a new language and culture. They have shared with us the rich experiences and new perspectives they have gained through these two different study abroad opportunities:

“Studying abroad is an important part of a college experience … It allows you to open your eyes to new things and new foods. You can meet new people … you learn a language and a way of life. Costa Rica meant a lot to my education. I want to become a leader in the education system, and to do this, I need to show people that I can look at a broad perspective to help fix a problem … Studying abroad was about learning the language and culture, which I enjoyed, but no one talks about what it does for our daily lives. This has changed the way I spend free time. This has changed the way I see plant life. This has changed what I want to inspire in my future students.” – Madison Stott

“Studying abroad is different than going on vacation. You experience so much more. When one goes on vacation, one tends to go for the easy and convenient things and can miss out on the more involved activities. One example was our interactions with people. We got to experience more of the language because we weren’t just there as tourist but as students. I got to listen and try to participate in conversations in a different language than what I am used to speaking … I would one hundred percent recommend other students to do study abroad, if for no other reason than to get a different perspective on the world.” – Hallie Huffman

“While in Costa Rica, I was fully immersed in the Latin American culture. I was able to utilize my Spanish knowledge within a conversation, learn more phrases that are used in everyday life, experience the beautiful flora and fauna, learn more about the history of Costa Rica, and grow more confident in my language skills. While my Spanish was far from perfect, I loved being able to communicate with locals in Liberia, Guanacaste, San Jose, and any cities we passed through … I wanted to minor in Spanish because I wanted more people to talk to and more people to be able to talk to me, and this trip has improved my confidence like no other.” – Bella Fricks

“Studying abroad is a great experience for anyone! Most people would assume that you would need to be studying a language to experience studying in another country, but that’s not the case. I met a lot of other students who didn’t know French but still enjoyed their time there. If you are studying a language, it’s a great experience to network with native speakers. I am minoring in French, and I learned so much from constantly listening and participating in conversations.” – Savannah Crider

As a student at TWU you also have the opportunity to learn a new language and travel abroad. You can enhance your career with a minor in French or Spanish. You can travel abroad and connect to new people and places.

A language minor can complement any major. It opens up more career options and makes you more competitive in the job market. A minor in French or Spanish will look fantastic in your resume, as an increasing number of employers are looking for candidates who can speak a second language.

Learning a new language will boost your confidence. You will make connections, communicate across cultures, gain perspective, and learn to think from different angles when looking at a problem. You will have cultural competence and a diverse skill set that will make you a genuine global citizen.

What can you do with a language minor? Some career fields you can pursue include: Teaching; Social Work; Counseling; Business; Healthcare Services; Law Enforcement; Translation Services for courts, publishers, and educational services; Government positions such as the FBI, United Nations, and Immigration/Naturalization.

The Department of English and Modern Languages invites you to embark in a wonderful journey of learning a new language. Our language professors are available to answer your questions and guide you as you consider pursuing a language minor. For more information on our academic programs, including French and Spanish minors, contact our Admissions Office.