You have a few semesters in Spanish. You know how to talk about the past, present, and future. You can describe art, order food, read literature, so now what? What do you do with all those skills that seem so great in school? You travel. You go see buildings designed hundreds of years ago, and see sculptures that take your breath away. You make new friends from different countries, and spend weekends with their families celebrating new holidays. You eat food rich in flavor like nothing you’ve ever tasted before, and you order it on your own without pointing at a picture and hoping for the best. Places you might have been uncomfortable going to or people you might have wanted to meet but you couldn’t talk to them are now yours to befriend and see. You don’t have to travel far either. Start in your local community. Try an authentic restaurant in a nearby town or see an art show at the local museum. You can walk into the store and help someone who was struggling to find what they needed because they didn’t have the language skills to ask for help, and you can be that bridge to help them. You have opened the door to a life rich in new experiences and diversity, and it will never be shut to you again.

by Ashley Nowak, WOL Spanish Instructor

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