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The Importance of Portuguese to Our Recent Graduates

May 30, 2024

The Importance of Portuguese to Our Recent Graduates

The Portuguese program at The Ohio State University has proven to be a key element in the academic and professional journeys of our recent graduates, James Logan and Neema Adley. Their experiences highlight how studying Portuguese has enriched their undergraduate studies and prepared them for their future endeavors in law and medicine.

James Logan: Preparing for University of Texas at Austin School of Law

James Logan reflects on his time in the Portuguese program as a transformative experience that has significantly contributed to his career development. "Learning a foreign language, especially when, like me, you have no prior experience in that language, is hard," he says. This accomplishment showcased his ability to succeed in a demanding environment, making him stand out to employers and graduate school admissions committees.

James emphasizes that studying Portuguese not only diversified his skill set but also exposed him to lusophone music, film, and traditions. "I have been able to understand so much more about lusophone culture and, in doing so, have been given the opportunity to lead a more fulfilling and enriched life," he shares. Moreover, he believes that the discipline and resilience he developed while learning Portuguese have prepared him for the rigors of law school. "As a future law student, I anticipate that my experience learning Portuguese, diving into a world of unfamiliar words and phrases, has prepared me to jump into the similarly unfamiliar world of legal jargon."

James will start his studies at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law next semester.

Neema Adley: Bridging Cultures in Medicine at Vanderbilt University

For Neema Adley, the impact of her Portuguese studies was felt profoundly during an unexpected encounter. "When I injured my meniscus four miles from my house, a recently immigrated Portuguese-speaking family came to my aid, and we had a wonderful conversation in Portuguese," she recalls. This experience underscored the practical and interpersonal benefits of her language skills.

Through the Portuguese program, Neema gained not only linguistic proficiency but also a deeper understanding of cultural influences, particularly the African elements present in Brazilian culture. "I am now aware of the African cultural influences that are visible in Brazilian festivals, food, and even the Brazilian Portuguese language," she explains. This cultural awareness is invaluable as she prepares for her medical career. Neema plans to use her Portuguese skills to enhance her medical Spanish and build stronger connections with Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking patients. "I would absolutely encourage any student interested to try out the Portuguese language program. I wish I would’ve started sooner. My Portuguese classes were some of my favorites of all of my classes at Ohio State."

Neema will be pursuing her medical degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

A Pathway to Success

We invite all students to explore the Portuguese language program and discover the opportunities it can create for both their academic and professional futures.

Congratulations, James and Neema!