Two very busy graduating seniors in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh global languages and cultures program say earning their bachelor’s degrees is just a start.
Michael DCamp and Hunter Nelson, both of Oshkosh, have completed extensive studies at UWO and are looking to their futures with some lofty goals.
DCamp graduates from the Honors College, with majors in German and geography, a minor in music and a certificate in geographic information systems. He was offered two master’s program scholarships, one from Ohio University and one from Kent State University.
He said Kent State won out with a master’s in ethnic geography accompanied by an assistantship that is enough to cover his cost of living.
“I hope to pursue a career in academia, although I am not yet sure how far I will proceed in graduate school,” he said.
DCamp said he chose an “irregular and rigorous academic plan” because he knew he would not be content studying just one subject. He said UWO was one of the only medium-sized universities in the Midwest that has both human geography and German majors and a strong music program.
“I was just lucky that the perfect fit for me was so close to home,” he said.
Languages are his passion
Nelson is graduating with three languages: he has a Spanish major and French and Japanese minors.
He is still considering a potential career, but he has interest in becoming an interpreter with the State Department or FBI or possibly in an embassy or a nongovernmental organization that does humanitarian work abroad. His instructors have heard him mention teaching as a possible career, and it is something they believe he would excel at.
“I know for sure that I want to use my languages in some capacity, but for the foreseeable short-term future I will continue to work as a pharmacy technician,” he said, adding that the possibility of becoming a medical interpreter is also on his radar.
Nelson said his love of languages started in seventh grade with Spanish. He continued through the end of middle school and all through high school. When he started taking French his sophomore year, his teacher was from Egypt and spoke Arabic, French and English. Students were curious about Arabic so at times she would show them how to write it and she’d speak it so they could hear it.
Nelson taught himself the alphabet and then applied for a program run through the State Department for high school students to go abroad and learn foreign languages that are deemed as “critical” to national security. He applied for the Arabic program and was chosen for the scholarship. He spent the 2017-18 school year in Morocco learning Arabic. At UWO, he continued his Spanish and French studies and added Japanese his sophomore year to learn something completely different. Although difficult, he said it was fun to learn.
“To be honest, I wish I could take language classes for the rest of my life,” Nelson said. “It’s something that I am good at and really, really enjoy.”