An update from Alex Gargona, an international business and marketing major with a minor in Spanish. Alex took Portuguese classes offered through the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Alex plans to work in international business or international relations after graduating in 2017.

“My Portuguese classes helped me form a solid base and continually progress in the language that, to this day, has already helped me better understand and communicate in Portuguese. When compared to my path towards learning Spanish, I would say that I learned and developed more useful skills in four semesters of Portuguese at Illinois State than almost five years of Spanish classes between high school and Illinois State.

The curriculum and format of the classes that I was offered while taking my Portuguese courses was extremely helpful. Having a Brazilian professor teaching (for the first two semesters that I took) gave a unique perspective and experience that also further motivated my learning. In my next two semesters of Portuguese, the perspective and format of classes with Professor Benjamin Schmeiser was just as good. He spoke with a European accent, grammar, and vocabulary, expanding my comprehension of and abilities within the language’s wide reach. There was no pressure to speak in one way or the other in his classes, only an excitement on his part to learn what you had to show as well. Professor Schmeiser’s courses and intentions were that you learn and advance your language skills in the best way that you can with his aid and guidance.

The overall impression of the track of Portuguese courses that I took was great.”