Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Christine Herrmann ’13

A fresh perspective: I arrived at Wheaton having studied French for seven years and felt like I needed a change. As soon as I stepped into my Beginning Russian language class, I immediately knew that I had found my major. It fit the bill: a new alphabet, fewer tenses, the challenge of cases, and a completely new sound. I also fell in love with Russian literature during Professor Francoise Rosset’s Russian Folklore course, which led me to the Language and Literature major within the Department.

Breakthrough moments: Though I love writing and literature, I had trouble with English classes during high school. I welcomed the challenge that Wheaton’s English courses offered and the amazing support I received from the professors. Each one I studied with pushed me to do my best.

First-hand inquiry: I studied abroad in Russia for a month last summer at the Bard-Smolny Summer Language Intensive program in Saint Petersburg. I also received a Mellon Honors Thesis Grant to visit the country and conduct research this past January through the American Friends of Russian Folklore.

Cross-cultural understanding: The American Home is a learning institution that is well known for its English and intensive Russian language programs. It was established over 20 years ago and is meant to promote peaceful and beneficial interactions between the United States and Russia. Though I currently teach the Tuesday lab section of Beginning Russian and serve as a tutor for that course, my upcoming teaching position at the Home will be my first formal one.

Adventure in daily life: I can’t wait to eat Russian food again, live with another host family, and have the chance to travel across the country on weekends and during breaks. I have a very good sense of direction and have no problem reading maps, so I want to experience the challenge of getting lost in a foreign country—strange as that sounds!

Options for success: I worked with my two advisors while applying to the Home, but Career Services is an invaluable resource on campus. Many of my friends have benefitted immensely from its staff.

By Adara Meyers ’08