Lia Petersen | St. Lawrence University Modern Languages

Lia Petersen

Class year: 
Multi-Language and Global Studies
Hometown: Bridgehampton, New York
Circle K, Delta Delta Delta, Women’s Varsity Tennis

In high school I had no idea where I wanted to go to college. Many of my friends applied early decision to schools because they had their minds made up, but I was still unsure what school would be my best fit. In the end, I decided to choose SLU because it was where I saw the strongest community bond. People told me horror stories of the winters up in Canton, NY, but I didn’t care, because I knew that even though the winters may be hard, everyone still managed to enjoy themselves. I knew this strong sense of community was just one reason why SLU was special, so I chose SLU to discover more.

Before coming to SLU, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I did know, however, that I had been taking Spanish for a long time and loved it, so I decided to continue with the language at SLU. After my first class here, I knew it would be a language I would major in. After my first year I took a bunch of classes across multiple disciplines and still wasn’t sure what I was truly interested in. During my sophomore spring it hit me that since I love Spanish so much, maybe I could try to learn another language. I decided to take Italian, and became obsessed with it. The reason I chose Italian was because my maternal grandmother was from Sicily, and spoke Italian, and I thought it would be cool to learn the language my grandmother spoke, and learn more about Italian culture through the classes. It ended up being a great choice. Next, I declared the Multi-Language major, but needed to choose a third language to study. I decided to choose Arabic because I knew it would be a challenge, and because it seemed like a language that had a lot of interesting history behind it. I took summer classes at Columbia, and since they were condensed they were extremely challenging, but very enriching. Learning the alphabet and then how to form sentences was such a cool experience.

After studying Arabic over the summer, I studied abroad during the fall of my junior year in Madrid, Spain. I absolutely loved it there. I became very close with my host family, increased my fluency in the language, and also got to travel to other areas in Europe. The study abroad program at SLU is one of the best, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Throughout the past 3 years, the classes I’ve taken, professors I’ve learned from, activities I’ve participated in, and friends I’ve made have provided me with an unforgettable experience. I love SLU, and have discovered many more ways, besides the strong sense of community, that make it a special place.