NEW ON THE BLOG Matt
In our Q&A-style interview series ASK AWAY: 5 QUESTIONS, we ask students, teachers, and counselors
Meet Matt A Kansas State University architecture and French double major
Matt, whose dad is a French and Spanish educator, has been taking formal language classes since seventh grade,but it was his decision to participate in a Rotary exchange program following his high school graduation thatchanged everything—from his motivation to progress in the language to new perspectives on his own andother cultures.
This life-changing immersive experience placed Matt in three host families and a French high school, wherehis favorite course was philosophy. Taking a gap year abroad was not a common practice for students in hishome district, a fact that made this accomplishment feel even more empowering.
In his words:
“I most surely would have given up on French by now had I not done the exchange. I wouldn’t feel the
connection I have to it right now, and I wouldn’t feel like it was actually possible to live there, to use the
language, to even communicate with a native [speaker]… But when you do all of that for over a year, you
come back home with a completely different perspective on your potential.”
What’s next? Matt looks forward to seeking internships and other experiences abroad, with a goal of working for a French or Swiss architectural
Read Matt’s full interview at
leadwithlanguages.org/askmatt. Know a student whose language learning story we should feature next?
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Lead with Languages
The facts are in: Language skills are in urgentand rising demand among U.S. employers(
leadwithlanguages.org/report). We’re compilingan archive of testimonials to explore thediverse range of careers in which multilingualsare thriving.
SURƓOHV. Is there a bilingual professional in yournetwork who we should interview? Email us! Besure to include their name, company/sector, title,language(s), and email address.
Alexander is a U.S. Foreign6HUYLFH;2IƓFHU;DW;WKH;8QLWHG;States Consulate GeneralMumbai.
“I have used my language skillsin countless ways throughout mynearly 20-year career.”
Languages: French, Italian, Spanish,Russian, Hungarian, Hindi, Urdu
Grew up in: Fayetteville, Arkansas
College & Majors/Minors:
• University of Arkansas – French,European Studies (BA); PianoPerformance (BM)
• Central European University(Hungary) – InternationalRelations & European Studies (MA)
• Russia – Smolny Institute ofArts and Sciences
• Italy – Frescobaldi Conservatoriodi Musica
• Hungary – Central EuropeanUniversity