Jaryn Waugh | St. Lawrence University Modern Languages

Jaryn Waugh

Class year: 
Copenhagen, NY
Elementary Italian Teaching Assistant, Dance Team Co-Captain, Kappa Delta Sigma Social Co-Chairwoman, Student Alumni Association, Laurentian Engagement Intern, South By Sea Campus Manager

Major: International Economics and Multi-languages (Italian and Spanish)

Minor: Italian Studies

Hello! Ciao! !Hola!

I am from Copenhagen, NY, which was named the snowiest town in America last winter.  Overall, it’s not much different than Canton.  Everyone in the town knows one another and speaks the same language.  I think it was the lack of diversity in my area that inspired me to branch out and learn new languages and cultures when I came to college. I chose St. Lawrence because it was comfortable.  By coming here, I could stay close to home, my family, and my roots.  I was excited for college but was not yet ready to branch out from my comfort zone. 

What has happened since I have been at SLU?  Since my freshman year, I have become trilingual, traveled to seven countries (I had previously only found myself in the United States and Canada), and made lifelong friends that live across the world.  These are all things that I wouldn’t have done had I chosen to attend a different college because I would not have found such a strong support system.

I studied Spanish for several years in middle and high school, but I didn’t enjoy the classes.  We did not spend much time practicing the language or learning about Hispanic culture, the two aspects that interest me the most.  After not taking a Spanish class during my senior year, I had forgotten much of what I learned.  I had, however, always had an interest in going to Italy, so I decided that studying Italian was the way to go.

Marcella Salvi was my Italian professor for two years for a total of four courses at St. Lawrence, and she is now my advisor, my mentor, and my friend.  She instilled such an interest of Italian culture in me that I was couldn’t wait to travel there.  My semester in Tuscania was one that I will never forget.  I lived with a host family that didn’t speak English, so every home cooked meal I was surrounded by conversations in Italian. This is what I miss most about living abroad!  Being able to speak a language with native speakers was more rewarding than anything else.

I am currently in my senior year, continuing my language studies with advanced Spanish courses and an Italian independent study about Luchino Visconti with Professor Alessandro Giardino.  Languages have become a huge part of my academic career and of my daily life, which is all because of SLU.  My language professors encouraged me to study in a town where not many students choose to study, and it turned out to be the best choice I have ever made.  From this experience, I have newfound interests in continuing my language study after graduation.

In May 2016, I will graduate from St. Lawrence University and begin the 4+1 accelerated program with Clarkson University to receive my Master of Business Administration by May 2017.  There is a Global MBA program where I could spend a semester in France studying business, so my hope is to return to Europe and add French to my list of languages.  After that, I hope to find a job where I can travel regularly and explore other cultures further.

I hope that every student at St. Lawrence University considers studying abroad, whether it is for a semester, a year, or even during the summer.  It is an invaluable experience that opens your eyes to the world around you and helps you to realize how important it is to break outside of the bubble on campus here in Canton, New York.