Studying languages has meant everything to me.
Learning German and Mandarin has given me the opportunity to travel the world, to meet new people, to try foods that have way too many legs, and to become horribly lost in foreign cities yet know that I will somehow be able to find my way home.
I feel passionate about seeing the world from as many different vantage points as possible, and trying to place all the struggles and triumphs of humanity into a deeper, more meaningful context.
I really enjoyed the UW-Madison language classes. The teachers are great and do a good job incorporating speaking and listening exercises into the curriculum.
Being a speaker of Japanese is an important part of my identity today, and something that I'll always carry with me.
I can't emphasize the value of my study abroad experiences enough. It's not just a place I've traveled to, but a place where I've learned and grown, and a place that is now a part of me.
If you really want to be in whatever country whose language you are learning, persevere and keep looking for opportunities.