World Languages & Cultures

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Our Alumni

Jennifer Cerna

Aubrey Lambach

Nora Sullivan

Jennifer Cerna

Psychology, 2013

I took Japanese at Drake for three years. Though I had some prior knowledge of the Japanese language, the program helped me immensely with integrating reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The more I learned, the more I was able to make connections between words, characters, and even the culture. The program was both challenging and fun because it included projects, interesting reading assignments, and sharing my opinion in regards to blog posts about Japanese culture. In addition, writing assignments helped to hone my ability to synthesize what I had learned in class.

I am currently living in Japan as an assistant language teacher of English. Taking Japanese classes at Drake has laid a very solid foundation of Japanese on which I am still building. Since I live in a rural area, it is extremely helpful to be able to communicate in Japanese both with members of the community and people I work with.

Aubrey Lambach

Biology Major, Chemistry Minor, Concentration in Global and Comparative Public Health, Certificate of Competence in Spanish Language and Culture, 2014

Learning about other cultures and ways of life has always interested me and I knew that the best way for me to learn more about the rest of the world, and myself, was to continue my Spanish language study. During the fall semester of my first year at Drake, I took Spanish for Healthcare Providers which introduced me to public health and how bilingualism could enhance my ability to be a competent healthcare professional in the future.

I studied Ecology and Evolution in Quito, Ecuador for one month and the Galápagos Islands for three months. This experience was beyond amazing and made me more confident in my language skills and I have become more introspective and more self-reliant as a result.

Now that I prepare to attend the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, I know that I will use the skills that I gained through Drake’s language program to change the lives of not only animals, but humans as well. Davis values individuals with multilingual abilities and as I work in the teaching hospital and complete my rotations in clinics throughout California, I know that my ability to communicate in Spanish will increase veterinary care outreach and public health understanding to a diverse array of communities. I hope to use my DVM degree to work in public health both within the United States and abroad and it would be a dream to use my language skills to engage in international collaboration.

Nora Sullivan

International Relations and Religion, 2014

I studied abroad in Senegal, West Africa during the Spring of my junior year, and almost exclusively spoke French during that time. Not many people spoke English, and I quickly realized that I would need to rely on my French to communicate with people on a daily basis. Though it was the first time that I was spending the bulk of my time thinking and speaking in a foreign language, my classes at Drake left me well-prepared for the challenge, and though it was intimidating at first, I quickly felt capable of communicating my thoughts.

Next year I will spend ten months in Bulgaria teaching English as part of a Fulbright grant. Though I won't speak French there, I am confident that my prior language-learning experiences will help me greatly in learning Bulgarian and teaching English to my students.

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