The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.
はじめまして! I’m Katie Hanson, a senior Japanese Studies major originally from Wilton, CT, also known as the town “Stepford Wives” was based on (I promise it’s not like that anymore!). I took my first language class in 3rd grade and proceeded to study French through the remainder of elementary and middle school. In high school I switched from French to Latin, but was forced to cut my studies short my sophomore year after moving to New York. In the absence of a formal language class, I began studying Japanese on my own, though I’ll admit to not learning much that way. Thus when I came to Gettysburg, I enrolled in Japanese 101 and have been studying the language ever since. My sophomore year I also picked up Arabic 101.
Last semester I studied abroad in Japan at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture. While there I explored both Kyoto and Osaka, took a trip to Hiroshima to listen to a lecture by an atomic bomb survivor, and over spring break went snowboarding in the Japanese Alps.
I’m involved in the Women’s choir (we’re doing some awesome pieces in Inuit and Creole this semester, come see our concert on 11/22!), the fencing club, Sigma Alpha Iota (all-women’s music fraternity), MEIS house, the PLA program for Japanese 101, and the local Episcopal church. Between my various musical endeavors, I’ve performed music in over 10 different languages.
In the future, I would like to continue my study of Japanese, Arabic, and French as well as learn Greek, Korean, and Spanish. Eventually I would like to go to grad school for a master’s in international affairs or education and work in the realm of international education.