Why learn Norwegian? How can that be useful? Former Skogfjorden villager Libby Addison has confronted the question a lot. She discusses how her “not-very-useful” pursuit of Norwegian has blossomed into unexpected opportunities . . . and plenty of delicious waffles.
Youth activist Sophia Kianni works to make documents on climate change accessible to non-English speakers all over the world.
Skogfjorden alumna Solveig Bjermeland is studying (and teaching!) aerial arts at Salto International Circus School in Portugal. She shares the challenges and rewards of this international experience during COVID, and how her Language Villages experience prepared her to live and work abroad.
In the second installment of her series on Courageous Global Citizenship during COVID-19, Della Duncan invites us to travel as pilgrims and not as tourists.
The WorldView team talks with Nick Theyerl, who has gone from the staff of Waldsee to helping eradicate Guinea worm disease in Chad, about connecting with people, working with NGOs, and prioritizing what’s important in life.
In times of trouble and challenge, technology can help us connect to the very things that make us human: the people we love, the adventures we crave and opportunities for meaningful engagement with the world.
As a professor of second language pedagogy with a degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), Betsy Gilliland has traveled from the Russian Language Village to all over the globe. Her adventures showcase the many unexpected opportunities that teaching around the world can offer.
Our good read for the month of February is an article by Birgitte Lange, Secretary General of Save the Children Norway. She emphasizes that today’s courageous leaders must advocate for those who are most in need of help, even when that advocacy is hard or fraught with challenge.
In the aftermath of the violence in Washington, D.C. on January 6, Executive Director Mary Maus Kosir reflects on the mission and the future course of Concordia Language Villages.
This week, the WorldView blog interviews Christian Graefe, former villager and counselor at Waldsee and Skogfjorden. Christian has gone on from the Villages to the University of Minnesota and Cargill, Inc., and discusses how his CLV experiences have supported his work in both academic and corporate research.
What does it mean for someone to not have a name? Skogfjorden dean Tove Dahl discusses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and why the right to a name is so crucial for every child in the world.
Horticulture science student Lizzie Shutt discusses the interconnectedness of humans and nature, and how to honor that connection in daily living.
Victoria J. Mora, president of United World College-USA, explores the function and challenges of stereotypes. Our brains seek to identify patterns in the behavior of the people around us, but relying too heavily on our stereotypes can limit our connections with the same people we seek to understand.
Erin Whelchel, of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), discusses the results of a recent survey on languages in the U.S. workplace. The study illuminates the increasing demand for employees with language skills, including companies whose needs for languages are exclusively in the domestic market. Erin encourages businesses to support language education to ensure a strong U.S. workforce in the future.
Technology allows us to create workspaces that connect people around the world, but there’s a lot more to connecting with colleagues than just making sure the Wi-Fi is working. This week, Christine Brown-Quinn shares useful practices for helping global teams to work together, even when they couldn’t be further apart.
If you’re studying science, there’s no need to study a language as well . . . right? Yan Linhart, a biology teacher and researcher with the University of Colorado, details all the ways that multilingualism benefits scientists: helping them connect with colleagues, travel the world to pursue research, and even become more competitive in applying for grants.
In recognition of International Education Week, we focus on the fact that many students are seeking global experiences in their college years. In this week’s post, Denison University President Adam Weinberg outlines the numerous ways to create a truly globalized campus to assist students in preparing for cross-cultural careers and responsible global citizenship.
Sure, studying abroad is a cool experience, but is it a worthwhile investment? Mark Overmann, Vice President of External Affairs for InterExchange, argues that it is. Living, working, and studying abroad generates “cultural intelligence”—the ability to navigate different cultural environments with confidence and empathy—and cultural intelligence is a high-demand skill as employers hire to compete in global markets.
Is learning a second language worth the effort? Bill Rivers, Executive Director of the Joint National Committee for Languages, insists the answer is a resounding YES! Second language aquisition has concrete, measurable benefits, both for the individual learner and for the nation as a whole.
This International Day, Concordia Language Villages was pleased to welcome Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar spoke to 1300 assembled villagers and staff about the great promise and heavy responsibilities of the rising generation.
Being bilingual offers many career opportunities. In this piece on her experience as a professional interpreter, entrepreneur and author Rebecca Weiner takes the reader straight to the heart of the interpreter’s experience: lots of travel, fascinating interactions and plenty of opportunities emerging from years of connections.
What does “going to work” look like in the future? Jennifer Clinton, president and CEO of Cultural Vistas, discusses the skills that will be most valuable in an increasingly automated, interconnected, interdisciplinary workplace. In a conversation with Florian Peter of McKinsey & Company, she highlights skills like adaptability, creativity, empathy and . . . of course . . . languages as crucial for the workplace of tomorrow.
Language and cultural skills remain critically important for a successful career in diplomacy and foreign affairs. In this post, Judy Reinke, a Career Minister in the U.S. Foreign Commercial Services, shares how early language learning in Germany laid the foundation to become multilingual and multicultural. These skills enabled her to pursue a diplomatic career that has spanned the globe, working in five embassies around the world with the specific job of helping U.S. companies explore market opportunities and address unfair trade barriers.
Global career paths don’t have to just be global. This week, we interview Abigail Harrison, former Lesnoe Ozero villager and aspiring astronaut, on how to take language learning into outer space.
How do you become an energy consultant specializing in German policy? A degree in engineering or policy science might sound better than one in German, but being steeped in German history and culture, not to mention fluent in the language, has its benefits. First, my studies got me to Germany after finishing my master's degree (and two summers at Waldsee in 1991 and 1992). I initially came to Freiburg for a year-long exchange. Energy issues grabbed my attention. For instance,...
In our last installment on Global Career Paths, Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education, details the importance of study abroad as a critical stepping stone to preparing today’s students to work in a global economy. The piece offers guidance for study abroad advisers as well as students and encourages language learning while abroad to deepen the dive into a culture. This piece is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered why study abroad matters.
Karl "on the job" at Pequot Tool & Manufacturing. As a junior in college earning a degree in physics, I am convinced on a daily basis of the impact that technology has on people. However, I am also earning a degree in Scandinavian studies and have taken the time to study abroad in the beautiful country of Sweden. Through these diverse experiences, I became more aware of how important it was to develop a mindset as a global citizen early on in my career path. I want to...
As we continue exploring Innovative Settings to Teach and Learn, Concordia Language Villages Group Director Jennifer Speir uses dragonflies as a metaphor for the skills exhibited by great counselors as they make every summer truly life-changing for their villagers.
Angela Schneider, who led this summer’s German Credit Abroad session, discusses how travel and language study can combine to take learners outside of their own sense of “normal” and into the real, dynamic experience of life in another country.
Concordia Language Villages has been in the business of language and cultural immersion for almost 60 years. Knowing the amount of time that goes into learning a language, people often wonder if it’s worth it. In this blog, Christine Schulze explains that rather than just respond with a resounding “Yes, absolutely,” we’ve decided to share the collective responses across the languages we teach over the next few months. We’ve gathered more than 100 reasons! Let us know what reasons resonate with you and please share them with others.
Credit villagers at Skogfjorden, the Norwegian Language Village, recently had the chance to discuss international diplomacy, conservation, and politics with Kåre R. Aas, Norway’s Ambassador to the United States. Dean Tove and credit facilitator Elsebet share what their villagers learned.
Follow the journey that leads one villager/staff member/teacher through door after door of opportunities, all opened for him by a passion for learning language and culture.
Colleen Wood began studying Russian when she was 15, thinking Cyrillic would be a useful secret code for passing notes with her friends; she never could have imagined the places that Russian would take her in 10 years. She writes of her experiences learning that what makes a language “useful” is entirely situational, and entirely about interactions with people.
Around my tenth birthday, my mother noticed that I did a pretty good job of mimicking a French accent when I heard it on the radio or on television. The next thing I knew I was being shipped off from my home in Illinois to Lac du Bois, a French camp in the North Woods of Minnesota (a program offered by Concordia Language Villages). I arrived not understanding a word of the language, but with the ability to sound like Pepé Le Pew, a Gallic skunk from the cartoons of my youth. After two weeks of eating, sleeping and breathing in French, I was hooked.
Lowe’s quest to find the right kind of training for their managers started in Central America. The company, however, quickly discovered it needed something in the states and it couldn’t be just language classes. That’s when the organization approached Concordia Language Villages after researching various options.
Our family revels in learning languages. My husband Paul and I left Minnesota and moved abroad 23 years ago. Though we spoke no French, we enrolled our girls—at age four—at the French Lycée in London. Both graduated with a French Baccalaureate in Singapore—and six years of German.
Concordia Language Villages celebrates International Education Week with posts celebrating international education from some of our colleagues and friends.
On a typical day the lingua franca at our breakfast table is Russian. However, by the afternoon, when our son Phillip brings a friend or two home from school, we segue into Danish and continue that way until they leave in the evening. On weekends however, a regular smorgasbord of English, Russia and Danish permeate the household as my oldest sons come for family dinner. And that is what you get when you are an American married to a Russian living in Denmark.