This semester, I am diving head first into new territory: Arabic. Well, I should not say new territory. As an undergraduate, I studied abroad in Dubai for one semester. During this time, I studied Arabic, but did not retain much after my return stateside. A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to revamp my Arabic studies, but did not know when I would have the time. I was just starting my coursework, and did not have the time nor mental energy to place on learning a new language. So, I waited…and waited…and waited…and now the time has arrived.
Studying a foreign language as a graduate student has been very different from my experiences as an undergraduate. As a first-year, I did not see myself traveling abroad. I had no connection to the language. However, now, I see the importance of being multi-lingual. Communication is a very powerful tool, and vital to being /becoming a global citizen.
I am just in the first few weeks of study, but I can honestly say that choosing to study a foreign language in graduate school has been one of my best decisions. It is a lot of work. Somedays are great…others, not so great. However, I keep trying. I enjoy going to class everyday (yes, I have a class that meets Monday through Friday), but I love every minute of it. If you get the chance to study a foreign language, take it! You will not regret it.
Ma’as salaama! (Good-bye!)