Newsletter 2005
Languages Beyond the Classroom
The guest speaker at this year’s foreign language induction ceremony was Andrew Schmidt, a 2001 Muhlenberg graduate with a major in Communications and a minor in English. As an undergraduate, Andrew studied both Russian and Spanish, the value of which extended into all aspects of his life, not only in college but also beyond. Andrew’s interest in Russian began when he desired to sing in the language for his vocal concert at Muhlenberg without having previously learned it. His unexpected study of Russian in college inspired him to a life of exploration later on. New areas of interest have arisen because of his decision to immerse himself in languages and cultures different from his own.

Students often wonder how life at Muhlenberg will filter into their lives following college. His brief study of Spanish at Muhlenberg led Andrew to continue studying the language at Middlebury College’s prestigious summer language institutes. These studies enabled Andrew to become fluent in Spanish, which has given Andrew an edge in the competitive world of the job market. His ability to be interviewed in Spanish was fundamental to at least one employer! The advantage of understanding different languages and cultures is attractive to employers, but beyond that, the knowledge is invaluable. Though Andrew only briefly studied Russian, his life has been immeasurably enhanced. From the books on the shelf to the music sheets scattered on the piano, it seems safe to say that Andrew is pleased that he chose to sing in Russian that one music concert in college.
--Rachel Courtney ‘06