The Martha Paley Francescato Study Abroad Scholarship has been awarded to Maria S. Racine, a senior majoring in Spanish and minoring in Art and Visual Technology. Maria will be studying abroad in Granada this summer. Maria writes the following about her studies and plans in Spanish:
I fell in love with the Spanish language in my first Spanish class, when I was 13 years old. While working on my Associates of Fine Arts I was required to take a foreign language and decided to continue my Spanish education. I rediscovered my passion for the language, and my professors there encouraged me to make it the focus of my Bachelors studies.
I’ve always thought that the immersion experience of a study abroad is essential to a foreign language degree. It forces you to really live in the language, instead of just studying it. I was afraid I wouldn’t get to study abroad because, as a non-traditional student, I have family responsibilities that couldn’t be abrogated for that long. This one-month intensive study in Granada is perfect, because it allows me the experience while still being short enough for me to manage with my family.
Along with the language itself, my study of Spanish has exposed me to the immigration culture here in the U.S., and inspired me to use my knowledge to help that community. After graduation I will pursue employment as an immigration paralegal with one of the local immigration law firms or charity organizations that support the immigrant community in northern Virginia.
April 06, 2017