Foreign language fair to broaden horizons

Kimberly Imel

Staff Writer


IUP’s Department of Foreign Languages will be hosting an activity fair from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Room 126.

The purpose of the event is to show what IUP has to offer in relation to foreign language and culture studies, along with how to enhance a degree with
additional credits in foreign language, according to Dawn Smith-Sherwood, associate professor of Spanish and assistant chair of the Department of Foreign Languages.

Additionally, the event will be a chance for students to interact with other students and faculty members in an informal setting.

“[It’s an] opportunity for students who are similarly minded to get to know each other,” Smith-Sherwood said.

The event is divided into two hour-long sections: student presentations and program representatives.

Students presenting in the program include: Elizabeth Keller (senior, Spanish education), Danielle Kieser (senior, Spanish education), Brock Romano (senior, Spanish education and international business), Victoria Jakicic (junior, mathematics and psychology), Hanna Andrussier (senior, international business), Daniel Wethli (sophomore, philosophy), Leo
Campanella (senior, natural science/pre-chiropractic) and John Garrison (sophomore, Asian studies).

Each student presenter will have about five minutes to discuss their personal experiences in another country and how students can get involved on campus. The
different presenters will represent six languages: French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Spanish.

Areas that will be discussed are Costa Rica; Valladolid, Spain; Germany; Korea and Aix-en-Provence, France.

Other topics include Spanish education, French/German club, scholarship opportunities, language certificate program and Asian Studies activities in Wallwork Hall.

Kirsten Piatak, a graduate student in the criminology department, will also be
presenting at the event about
the importance of foreign language proficiency, in one’s future career.

Garrison plans on recounting various interactions he had with people in Korea.

He alluded to one such story where he met Chun Kwang
Young, a famous contemporary
artist, in Korea, who ended up
buying and signing sketch pads
for Garrison and two other students.

Andrussier will discuss how German impacted her education. Jakicic will talk about IUP’s French club and her experience in Aix-en-Provence.

The second portion of the event will consist of IUP program representations, including one from the Career and Professional Development Center. There will be tables set up for each of the representatives so that students can explore the different opportunities for study abroad, career development, certificate in foreign language and more.

Refreshments will also be provided.

Each of the presenters has high goals for their presentation, especially Andrussier, who
hopes audience members leave with a better appreciation of Germany.

“If I can make one person leave with a more positive view on the German language, culture or just Germany itself, I’ll be happy,” she said.

“Not many people want to learn about places outside of the U.S., and I always try to influence others to step outside of their comfort zone and explore.”

Similar ideas were expressed by Garrison, who hopes that through his presentation, attendees will learn more about Korea.

“I want people to realize how loving and welcoming Korea is,” he said.

Garrison explained how learning different languages can
allow for comparisons and self-reflections on a person’s individual culture.

“The differences are not just one way,” he said.

“You learn more about your own culture, your own home. There are other perspectives and other ways of living than we do.”

For students unsure about foreign language programs,
Jakicic shared some advice and insight.

“A fair like this is the perfect area to quickly learn a little about a lot of languages,” she said.

“After listening to the presentations, you can decide if a language is for you. But you won’t know
until you give it a chance, and this fair is the perfect chance.”