Hello! ¡Hola! Bonjour! 你好！
I was born and raised in the Borough of Queens in New York City. Having been raised in such a diverse environment, I was instilled with a desire to learn about other cultures as well as an urge to escape the “big city.” Although at the time these two ideas did not seem possible.
Like a lot of students, my reasons for coming to St. Lawrence were varied. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was a suggestion my college counselor, so I applied. I like the North Country because of the tranquil environment it offers - although the weather was something to get accustomed to - and St. Lawrence, because of the diverse environment it offers me. Also, the study abroad options, as well as the variety of classes that are offered at this university captured my attention.
Though I arrived at St. Lawrence University with no idea about what major to pursue, I am now planning on leaving with a major in languages. I knew that I wanted to study abroad in the Global Francophone Cultures program, so I started out studying French, a language, completely different than the one I pursued in high school. French was definitely an interesting and bumpy ride, but with the help of a tutor, I managed to grasp the fundamentals of the language, and am positive that I can hold my own in a conversation as well as read and comprehend it. I recommend tutors to anyone needing help in any subject, because St. Lawrence has a great tutoring program. My hope is to continue to improve my skills in the French language to the point where I can read and analyze French texts parallel to any English readings that I may encounter.
During my middle and high school years, I studied Chinese for six years while enrolled in an International Baccalaureate Program This language proved to be a challenge, but not as much as French, which I began in college. Chinese is a language that is of growing importance in today’s business world, and studying Chinese has definitely improved my understanding of that culture. I plan on going to China to pursue my studies in the language even further. Currently, I am in the process of applying to the Chinese Summer Study Program at Middlebury where I hope to improve my language skills dramatically.
Spanish is the language of concentration in my multi-language major. The reason for this, is because although I was raised speaking the language, and am able to read it fluently, I was unable to understand much of the grammatical conventions behind it. My studies in Spanish have expanded to research interests in the relationship between Spain and Latin America. This interest led to me participating in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program during the summer of 2012. With the help of Dr. Marina Llorente as my research mentor, I wrote a paper titled Challenges and Cooperation: Cultural and Economic Relationships between Spain, Latin America and The European Union, in which I studied the effect of culture on the economic relationships between Spain, Latin America, and the European Union. I plan on continuing my research now that I am studying abroad in Spain, under the tutelage of one of the professors who work I researched, Dr. Fernando Luengo.
Once I focused on what languages I wanted to learn, my path became clearer. Chinese, English, Spanish, French are on the list of top ten spoken languages in the world, and are four of the six official languages of the United Nations. In the future I hope to also learn Japanese, Portuguese and Arabic. I also plan on going to graduate school and study International Relations.
I recommend that anyone planning to come to St. Lawrence University study a language, because, even if it is not your major, the language can supplement whatever you studying; many people in today’s job markets have another language to strengthen their curriculum vitae or resume. Also, study abroad!