WWS Blog

Woos Abroad: Summer Language Study

Sep 18, 2013
Published by:
Seyron Foo, MPA '14

You may have already heard about our international travels as students at the Woodrow Wilson School, often generously supported by the Woo. To encourage foreign language study, the school provides language scholarships to students seeking to learn a language. The stipends can be used in the United States for classes and tutoring, or for language study abroad. This past summer, students traveled around the world to learn languages, from Spanish in Mexico and Spain to French in the south of France.

Below are some adventures embarked upon by the MPA’14 class this past summer.

Puebla, Mexico

Nick ZarazuaThis past summer, I participated in a two-week, individual language program in Puebla, Mexico. Considering my future plans involve advocating for the Latino community in Texas, this was a great opportunity to become fully immersed in the language while also exploring the inner regions of Mexico, with all of its unique food, music, and lifestyle. I never would have been able to experience such a great learning experience without the funding made available by the Woodrow Wilson School. These two weeks weren't just an opportunity to hone my language skills; they were an opportunity to explore my own identity as a Latino in the United States.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Kat JohnsonBefore beginning my summer internship in Brazil, I spent two weeks doing intense Portuguese study at Fast Forward in downtown São Paulo. I learned enough to contribute meaningfully at work, run daily errands and chat with locals I met while traveling. I continued to have weekly dinners with my language study homestay family, and remained friends with many of the other students. Without this opportunity, I would have had a very dull and unproductive summer! I’m continuing Portuguese classes this semester, and am grateful to the Woo for giving me the launchpad I needed. Obrigada por tudo!

Montpellier, France

Matthew SoursourianAfter completing my internship in India, I spent the last two weeks of the summer in France. While I was there, I took an intensive language course in Montpellier, a city in the south of France. For my first time learning French, it was a great experience in a fantastic school. The class gave me basic communication skills and introduced me to some fundamental grammar structures and vocabulary. I've continued studying French at Princeton this year, and thanks to the summer language study I placed into an accelerated course. I am very grateful to the Woodrow Wilson School for supporting this endeavor.