Monday, November 14, 2016

President Midori Knowles' Study Abroad Experience

Within my four years at Bryant University, the Modern Language department has provided me with many resources and opportunities that I am grateful to have fortunately experienced.  By offering language studies in French, Italian, Chinese and Spanish, Bryant has given me options that will best suit my interests.  Personally, I started out as a student with a Spanish minor.  After two years of Spanish classes, I decided to take my language studies one step further and turn my minor into a concentration.  With this decision, I also took a leap and decided to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain.  To fulfill my Spanish concentration, I took enrolled into two classes that were taught in Spanish during my time abroad.  This was one of the best decisions I could have made in regards to furthering my Spanish speaking skills. 

While living in Spain, not only did I get to practice my Spanish every day in my classes, but I also often spoke with my host family and locals that I befriended over the four months that I was there.  I quickly became comfortable practicing my Spanish with my host dad and his family.  Everyone was very welcoming and eager to help me.  The importance of knowing another language was intensely highlighted throughout my time abroad.  Being able to navigate myself through the city, airports, restaurants, shops and the public transportation system was extremely reassuring that my Spanish skills were being enhanced more and more each day.  At first, I was nervous to speak to locals, but the more I practiced the better I became and the more confident I was the next time around.  Living with a family that was from Sevilla was a huge advantage.  They were able to teach me slang terms and were very accommodating to make me feel like a true Spaniard. 

Not only was I able to further my Spanish skills while I was abroad, but I become a much more well-rounded individual, as well.  From traveling to ten different countries and experiencing multiple foreign holidays and festivals, I learned so much about myself within the foreign culture.  I learned that I love to try new things and am always up for a new adventure, whether it be trying new foods or traveling to a city that I have never heard of before.  I learned that it is so important to step outside of my comfort zone.  Thinking back to when I was preparing for my trip, I was so nervous and didn’t want to leave my family or friends at Bryant.  Now I think back and laugh at myself.  I was stuck in this bubble and was afraid to step out.  I’m so glad I did because I got to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity that gave me the best four months of my college career.

Studying a language at Bryant has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities that I am very appreciative for.  This Spanish concentration has allowed me to enjoy some of the best classes I’ve taken, work alongside great faculty, become a peer tutor for Spanish at Bryant’s Academic Center for Excellence, and become a member and President of Bryant’s chapter of Phi Sigma Iota, the International Foreign Language Honor Society.   Being invested in a language has open many doors for me and I strongly recommend to anyone to take advantage of these opportunities that the Modern Language department provides to all students!

Midori Knowles
Bryant University 
Class of 2017
President of Phi Sigma Iota, Chapter Chi Zeta #262

No comments:

Post a Comment