BA, Communications and Spanish
I graduated in August 2007 with a BA in Communications and Spanish. When I started my degree at Otago I picked up Spanish as a paper but never imagined it would become such an important part of my life. Growing up bilingual (Afrikaans and English) and then later learning French and German at school, Spanish seemed like an obvious choice. My first and second year came as a shock to me because for the first time in my life I was learning a language that I had almost no experience with or exposure to.
After meeting an Argentinean family I pursued an exchange to Argentina through the University of Otago. I was a student for two semesters in Buenos Aires during that time and I spent 13 months living in Argentina.
Spanish came alive to me and in me, the roller coaster that is an exchange saw me soar and plummet but with a grasp of Spanish that is not just a language, but a different rhythm of living and expressing oneself. I remember once reading that 'to speak another language is to have another soul'. I have always believe this to be true, but until I started learning Spanish I had never experienced this for myself by applying a language I had consciously learned.
Upon my return to New Zealand the Department of Languages and Cultures became a source of support and inspiration and when I finished my degree I decided to further my Spanish language and experience through an Honours programme in Madrid, where I am now.
The process of learning another language is valuable. Through studying Spanish, I developed an appreciation for communicating with more than words.