In our interconnected world an interdisciplinary skill set is necessary. Language, of course, is one of the most important of those skills. And, if you see yourself working anywhere outside of the United States, or, increasingly, anywhere period, being multilingual not only sets you apart but opens doors that otherwise would be closed.
For Monika Ruppe (2017) that meant a self-initiated internship in Peru at the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. Read her story (she's in the middle of the photo) and picture yourself in her shoes, using your language skills, working, and socializing and helping make something that really matters to you come to life. Like a parade!
And though I’m now back in Oregon wondering where I’ll go next, I can’t help but smile knowing that one trip to one place opened the world to me. They say when you travel alone is when you’re least alone and I witnessed the truth of that first hand. And I think back to a moment early in my trip, it was tourism week and Señora Nilda had insisted we were all going to be in the parade in the central square. Somehow I wound up dressed in a traditional outfit from Chinchero, laughing with my friend from Uruguay as some women fussed about us braiding our hair and adjusting our jackets, women I’d never spoken to before then but now dressed in their traditional clothing we were best of friends. After the parade was over and I let my pageant smile have a rest one of my coworkers turned to me smiling and said quite simply, “you’re a Chinchera now.” And though it’ll probably be awhile before my wanderings lead me back to Peru I know I’ll always have a home in Cusco and a place in Chinchero.
No matter where you see yourself in the future, there may be a dream-fulfilling language or study abroad program at the UO that will help you get there. See languages.uoregon.edu for more information on all of the second language possibilities at UO.