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Ask Away: 5 Questions for a Future Meteorologist Learning Spanish

 

We’re asking students, teachers, and counselors five questions on how languages play a role in shaping personal and professional success…  

Meet Tevian—a future Broadcast Meteorologist, currently completing an Atmospheric Science major with minors in Spanish and Media Production at the Ohio State University.

Tevian photo for "ask away" banner

1.  How do language skills complement or influence your undergrad specialization?

When I first took interest in Spanish, it was a while before I really knew what my major was going to be in college, so it’s always been something that’s been somewhat separate from my career path.

However, when I think of how it could affect my career, I think that Spanish could broaden my options for job possibilities. Weather happens all over the world, so knowing Spanish means I could talk about weather in places that might be predominately Latino in the U.S., or just outside of the U.S. altogether, like in Spain or Latin America.

2. You were immersed in another culture and language during your study abroad in Spain. What’s the biggest lesson you took from your time there?

The one thing that I think will really stick with me from my trip is learning how to relax and slow down a little bit. In Spain, they allow themselves so much more time to enjoy leisure and just being around friends and family. Here in the U.S., we’re very work-oriented, which isn’t a bad thing, but at some point, we’ve got to give ourselves a break.

Tevian standing at a city wall overlooking Toledo, Spain
A bird’s eye view of Toledo!
3. During your time in Spain, you did a homestay with a local: Where else were you able to explore, and how did the homestay impact your language learning experience?

Our center and homestay program was in Madrid; however we also spent a day in Segovia, two days in Toledo, and went up to the north of Spain to spend a few days in Santander and Bilbao.

The homestay program helped a lot with my language skills. I think the biggest part of learning a language is just practicing constantly. Being in a homestay gave me that extra bit of practice that I may not have gotten if I had stayed in a dorm or something similar. Usually, if I was out, most of my talking was ordering food, but with my homestay family, we talked about a lot of different topics, so I was able to learn more about the culture while they were helping me with my speaking skills.

4. And looking ahead after graduation…?

It’s very possible that I may not use Spanish in my career; however, the U.S. has an ever-growing Latino population, so I have no idea when my skills in Spanish or my knowledge of Spanish or Latino culture may come to the rescue. Whether I’m talking to a Spanish speaker, or commenting on world politics, the things I’ve learned will be useful to me regardless.

5. What advice do you have for those learning another language? Top tips?

My top tip for language learners is to really put yourself out there and try.

It can feel scary because you think you have no idea what you’re doing or saying, but no one will ever mock or ridicule you for giving it a shot—if anything, they’ll appreciate it and help you out!

BONUS QUESTION: Did you notice any surprising differences between Spanish and American culture?

Something really major that I noticed was the difference in food culture. While there were some fast food places (McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, and KFC to be exact), most restaurants, even the casual ones, were places that you would sit down and eat. After a little research, my class and I discovered that it was an actual Spanish initiative that was reducing fast food and creating more sit-down restaurants, which probably helps a lot of Spanish citizens eat healthier. 

Interested in college programs, scholarship opportunities, or even more student testimonials on learning Spanish? Check out our Lead with Spanish page. Then tell us your language learning story @LeadWLanguages on social media.