Jennifer Fitzwater

Jennifer Fitzwater
'12
Major: 
Multi-lingual (focusing on French, Spanish and Arabic)
Minor: 
Hometown: 
Cincinnati, OH

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio where I graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts in 2008. Fresh out of high school, I was accepted to the Ohio State University as a biology pre-med major, however, it took me very little time to realize that science was not where my heart belonged. Coming from SCPA where I was singing and expressing myself in some creative capacity every day, I found my three hundred person chemistry lectures draining and void of passion for my part. But things changed drastically in the winter of my freshman year when I took my first French class. Those first French classes felt like breathing fresh air after long being under water and struggling to reach the surface.

I changed my major to French the very next term and the following spring I left for Dijon, France where I spent a semester studying and living my life as beautifully and passionately as I ever have. Only weeks before leaving for France I made the decision to transfer schools and after completing many applications and visiting several campuses when I returned to the States, I chose Saint Lawrence. The multi-lingual major option here is really what convinced me to come to SLU and now that I am in my second semester here I can honestly say that I could not be happier with my decision to transfer.

As a multi-lingual major I am currently studying French, Spanish and Arabic. I am already fluent in French and I hope to be fluent in Spanish by the end of the fall of 2011 as I am planning on studying abroad in Argentina for that semester. As for Arabic, I really do hope to reach fluency some day, but for now it will have to wait until I graduate and have a chance to travel to the Middle East. I am a firm believer in the fact that one can never truly learn a foreign language until you have lived in a country where they speak said language. Sure you can learn the mechanics, the sentence structure, the tenses inside a classroom, but living in a community where the language is spoken in the streets is the only way to learn how to truly communicate in another language.

At this point I am unsure as to what career path I would like to follow when I graduate. However, I do have plans, and lots of them for my grand entrance into the “real world” after graduation. I plan on moving back to France when I graduate to teach English there and in the process work on my French. After France I’d like to go to the West coast of Africa to visit some of the francophone countries there to do volunteer work where it is needed. Then I hope to return to South America to teach English and solidify my Spanish. From there, I will make my way to the Middle East to live in an Arabic-speaking culture and gain fluency in the language.

Needless to say, I am so incredibly happy with my decision to study foreign language and to transfer to SLU. I feel that the opportunities that await me in the future are endless and any career I choose will lead me to success. I am so hopeful and excited for what’s to come and although it’s uncertain right now I know that any where I go and anything I do will be amazing and fulfilling.