Hello, ¡Hola!, and 大家好! My name is Amy and I’m an Environmental Studies major who speaks Chinese and Spanish (following a loose definition, at least). As others mention, living in Language House is a fantastic experience. From icebreakers to food events, all involved are very friendly and open. One might suppose that a disconnect exists between Language House residents and its directors, but this is far from the truth; Jeanne and Maite are half—if not more!—of the reason Language House is so great. I doubt there are many colleges where professors sing and cook with their students.
While I may not necessarily have gone to many events requiring me to speak only in Spanish, living here encourages me to converse with my peers in Spanish (and even Chinese) every so often. I’m definitely self-conscious about my current language abilities, so this smaller, more casual environment is more comfortable for me compared to a larger one with more fluent speakers (which still slightly intimidates me at the moment). Language House isn’t some separate enclave for fluent foreign language speakers; it’s an inviting environment for those interested in practicing languages and broadening their worldviews.
Living in Language House has also indirectly allowed me to experience a small taste of cultural (and linguistic) immersion. Considering Goucher students come from all over the country (and even outside of it), going home during holidays is not always feasible; I myself am from southern California. Over Thanksgiving break, a friend (another Language House resident!) was kind enough to take me in; consequently, I stayed at her house and was surrounded by—if not bombarded with—the Spanish language for five days. While I was too shy and embarrassed to speak any of the Spanish I knew (save the last day), it was very rewarding for me when I did understand portions of conversations.
I like to tell myself that I’ve contributed to the relaxed and non-judgmental atmosphere of Language House. On the flip side, living in such a dynamic environment also raises questions of diversity and the possible tensions arising from it. My friends and I who reside in Language House have definitely had some more serious discussions about this topic; while these conversations may have occurred regardless of our housing, I do think the location does have something to do with it. Cheesy as it may be, Language House was one factor which brought us together—perhaps it can be thought as the catalyst. The constant encouragement to experience different cultures and take on new perspectives really gave us some food for thought. I, as well have others, have contributed to the healthy growth of acceptance and the challenging of existing stereotypes.
My name is Melvin Peña; I’m originally from El Salvador. As in now, I’m a Spanish and Education double major at Goucher, class of 2018. Being part of the Language House has been an amazing experience. You get to experience new cultures while you share your own with the other members in the Language House. There are many benefits of being part of the language house, from being able to have a conversation in the language you’re studying and work together in your assignments to get the opportunity to interact with the professors that also live in the Language House. Either at dinner or during one of the many activities the Language House has to offer. Another benefit of being of the Language House is that you get to live in a suite with one roommate and two suite mates. The suites at the Language House are honestly the best dorms on campus. You have a lot of space in your dorm, and you only have to share a bathroom with three other people.
Hola! My name is Rosie, and I love living in Language House! I transferred to Goucher College last fall as a junior and was anxious to find ways to connect with people. Right away I felt at home living in the Language House, which definitely made the big transition from my hometown in Washington State to Goucher College much easier. It has been a huge blessing to be a part of such a diverse community that shares my love of language and culture. I have really enjoyed being able to practice Spanish with neighbors and at the weekly language tables. Even as my major coursework becomes more intense and I can’t always fit a Spanish class into my schedule, living in Language House has allowed me to keep up with practicing and enjoying the language. Hearing the different languages that my neighbors have studied always inspires me to learn more languages and travel to more places.
The Language House events are buckets of fun, and I especially love all of the
opportunities to cook delicious foods as a large group. The mixture of different languages that are tossed around in the kitchen and the animated games people start when they aren’t cooking create an atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else. One of my favorite Language House memories from last semester was a karaoke night I thought I was going to miss. I had to leave for rehearsal after the first ten minutes, but when I came back hours later they were still going strong, and we sang and danced late into the night. Enthusiasm within the language house community is highly contagious, and I love the momentum that can build when we are all together.
The language house directors Jeanne and Maite are also super supportive and welcoming, which makes it easy to feel engaged and excited about Language House activities. I am living across the hall from them this year and have really enjoyed our little chats in the hallway and getting to run into them so often.
I feel very connected to the Language House community. In so many ways, living in Language House was one of the best decisions I’ve made since coming to Goucher, and I definitely want to continue living here next year. For anyone who enjoys getting together with fun, amazing people and has an interest in language and culture, there is no better place to live on campus.
Jane and Aliza are roommates in one of the Language House apartments.
Hi! My name is Jane. I love living in the Language House! We have two awesome professors that host fun events where we get to practice our language skills and learn about different cultures. Some of the events involve making/eating food which is always fun! By living in the language house I get to meet other people with similar interests. When I found out about the Language House, I knew I had to apply. Jeanne and Maite are a blast to have around and make the events fun for students!
Hi! I’m Aliza. Living in the language house is a blast! Contrary to what I thought as a first year student, you are not obligated to talk in your language of study 24/7. Instead, as a language house resident you get special invites to fun events like karaoke nights, crêpe making parties, and fabulous guest-speakers. It’s also so great living among open-minded people who share your enthusiasm for languages and learning about different cultures, not to mention the summer savior that is air-conditioning. I would highly recommended applying to the language house to anyone with even the slightest interest; it really is a great deal of fun!
My name is Nate and I am a French and Spanish double major at Goucher, Class of 2018. My experience of living in the Language House during my first two semesters at Goucher has been phenomenal. The community of students and teachers in the Language House is so much richer than that of a normal dorm, because everyone on the floor shares a common global interest. The result is a collection of individuals who often times are fluent in at least two languages, and sometimes many more. There are students in the Language House who have grown up speaking a language other than English, as well as students such as myself who have dedicated their studies to foreign languages and cultures. It is also a perfect environment for students to share and compare their abroad experiences with one another. Beyond the diverse community that the Language House offers, there is also an amazing opportunity to improve daily conversational skills. As oppose to the academically focused language skills practice in class, here students can take advantage of an atmosphere that allows daily conversational skills to develop. Every week there is a meal at the dining hall across from the Language House where students sit and eat while speaking a designated language. For me, these meals have been incredibly helpful in helping me to polish my conversation skills outside of the classroom. In addition to the weekly Language Tables, there are also various activities planned throughout each semester. These can range from watching movies in a foreign language, to cooking a dish that is specific to a given culture, to watching live programming on television from another country. The Language House is an amazing community that can provide countless opportunities to students that wouldn’t otherwise be available in regular housing. I would suggest it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in foreign languages and cultures.