Lehigh University
Lehigh University

News

Languages enrich students lives, careers

But Sylvia Ciesluk ‘03, Anne Glowacki ‘04, Barret Katuna ‘04, and Yomaris Maldonado ’03 share one similarity: a deep understanding of how the acquisition and mastery of another language gives them an edge in their personal and professional lives.

The study of French, Spanish, and Japanese has tremendously enriched the Lehigh experience of these students who excel in the area of internationalism. Far from being an appendix, a free-standing elective--language study--has been systematically integrated into the larger picture of their lives and careers. It is in this spirit that Katuna, a College Scholar in the College of Arts and Sciences who is pursuing a double major in French and political science, chose to study in Strasbourg, France this semester.

"I realize that there are multi-national companies that recruit employees who are bilingual or multilingual," says Katuna, who adds: "It is vital for all citizens to have an understanding of at least one other language beside their native language."

She will have the opportunity to combine the study of French and international relations in her internship at the Council of Europe, which is seated in Strasbourg.

When awarded a Tauck Scholarship by the College of Business and Economics to do an all-expense-paid internship abroad last summer, Maldonado was delighted to go to Brussels, Belgium. Maldonado, a native Spanish speaker and a marketing major with a minor in French and Japanese, plans to further her knowledge of French by working for Ingersoll Rand.

Choosing between a French-speaking country and Japan for her internship wasn’t an easy decision for Maldonado, a Presidential Scholar and vice president of the Global Union. Her passion for all languages is only one factor in the selection of Maldonado as the recipient of the Student Scholar award of Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society for International Scholars (one of only two recipients in Lehigh’s chapter).

Glowacki, a marketing major and Spanish minor with a goal of working internationally, considers it "essential to communicate effectively in another language and to be aware of cultural differences in the business world." While she had the opportunity to study Spanish architecture and history in Seville, Spain, last summer, she is about to benefit from a Tauck Scholarship and hopes that she will be placed in a Spanish-speaking country where she will gain professional expertise through her international internship.

The far-reaching benefits of language study and cultural exposure have not escaped Ciesluk, who says that learning a second language and familiarizing herself with another culture has changed her outlook on life and her future goals.

In the summer of 2001, the economics major with a minor in French participated in a summer language exchange program in Grenoble, France. Last spring, she traveled to Italy as part of a highly select group of Martindale students.

This winter, Ciesluk, who is also a Presidential Scholar, took part in the Lehigh in Costa Rica program to study sustainable development. As a crowning achievement to her college career, Ciesluk was recently awarded the prestigious McGowan Scholarship, and received $19,000 to put toward her college tuition.

Left to right, Sylvia Ciesluk, Anne Glowacki, and Yomaris Maldonado have incorporated language studies into their lives and academic careers.

Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003

share this story: