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Not all students who benefit from learning a Modern Language at Brockport are majors. Read below as Katrina Mogavero recounts her experience abroad...
"My experience in Chile was one I will never forget. I was not expecting to fall in love with this country in as little as 7 weeks. I lived in Viña del Mar, Chile where I took classes at University at Viña del Mar. My program was called the 'Summer Intensive Program' in which I took 2 classes for one month. My major at Brockport is Recreation and Leisure Studies with a focus in tourism management and my minor is Spanish. I decided that if I wanted to become fluent in the language that I would have to Study Abroad. I chose Chile not only because it was a place I have never been but also for its popularity with tourism. The location of the city of Viña del Mar is what attracts the tourists along with its culture.
After working with the Spanish program at Brockport and University at Viña del Mar I was able to get in contact with a hotel in Viña and conduct a 3-week internship with them. Normally, the hotel Marina del Rey Best Western offers internships only to students in Chile, but Brockport worked to give me this rare opportunity. This experience challenged me in a lot of ways with both my Spanish skills and applying my knowledge of tourism to the hotel industry.
Both the University at Viña del Mar and The College at Brockport did a great job with my needs and allowing me to create an internship. I hope that this internship will continue to accept other international students and grow as a program. The University at Viña del Mar is just starting its internship programs for international students, and from my experience as one of the first to participate in the program, I know that it will continue to grow and become a well-developed program.
I’ve heard it before but now I know it is true; studying abroad is a great option. If provided the opportunity to study abroad, I believe it's worth it because you not only learn about a country but you experience their way of life."
Some students have a hard time choosing between majors. Yet, for senior Erica Johnson there was no decision at all. She took her love and French and Spanish and decided to major in both.
She recommends that others take the path that she has chosen. "There are many advantages of being a double major," she says. "It makes you more marketable when you are starting to apply for jobs and you will understand two more languages and cultures rather than just one. This will be very helpful in your future as the United States is becoming more diverse each day."
Her love of both languages started in high school and has helped her to broaden her horizons. "I am from a very small town in northern New York which is somewhat sheltered. Now, I constantly think diversely...and I am more culturally aware than before."
Although she acknowledges that it can be difficult to switch gears from one language to the next, the most difficult task for her was balancing her studies with her role as a starter on the Brockport women's basketball team. She partially credits the understanding and flexibility of her professors in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures for her success in striking this precarious equilibrium. "They were very helpful and made sure to find a solution to do both."
With such a strong work ethic and an enthusiasm to broaden her mind, it is no surprise that Johnson won the 2013 Departmental Scholar award. She graduates this year and plans to use her newfound skills and multicultural comprehension by traveling to Spain and France.