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I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Amelia KashianFebruary 22, 2024

Languages, Literatures and International Studies Department hosts Fall Kickoff

Students, professors gather for games, introductions and new opportunities.
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Amelia Kashian/NW
NEW FRIENDS — Students gather to discuss their experiences and what they expect from the program.

At the start of each school year, many departments host kickoff parties to introduce faculty and staff and to create a welcoming environment before classes begin. The Languages, Literatures & International Studies department did just that on Thursday, Sept. 7 with their Fall Kickoff at Whitman Commons. The event had games, pizza and soda, and students were encouraged to attend that they could meet professors and students with similar interests. Along with socializing, pictures were also taken for their majors and minors student poster. 

Senior Henry Martin emphasized the importance of its community, and how it along with its kickoff events, have helped him thrive throughout his years as a Spanish major.

“This kickoff is a very cool thing to be a part of in this department, and I feel confident in the abilities of the department to educate us and to give us opportunities to use our Spanish outside of the classroom,” Martin said. “I think the head of the department [Rebecca] Ulland is very successful in creating an environment that’s welcoming. I’ve been able to open up whole libraries that I wasn’t able to look at before, and whole new understandings of religion, culture and history.”

The Languages, Literature & International Studies Department is excellent in preparing students for their future careers, according to Ulland, the head of the department. She elaborated on their study abroad program, which showcases one of many opportunities her department offers for students. 

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“Our department hosts two, soon to be three, study abroad opportunities led by our award-winning faculty. We have a four-week program in Salamanca, Spain, Vienna and Austria,” Ulland said. “Next academic year, we’re going to launch a program in Paris in May of 2025.”

Ulland is also extremely proud the experience it provides its students. Many that study in the Languages, Literatures and International studies department come from many different areas of the world, which helps introduce their students with different cultures, ideas and beliefs. 

“I really love the variety of students in our classes, and I get to meet a lot of them, particularly the Spanish and International Studies students,” Ulland said. “We have students from all over and they bring different life experiences that enriches our classrooms. I think that’s something really great about Northern.”

Overall, the kickoff was a supportive way to introduce students to a thriving department with ample opportunities and a lively community. Students were given the chance to discuss their interests in the program and meet professors who would support them throughout the semester. The kickoff allowed students to learn more about their major and meet students who had similar passions. The event was one of many opportunities that the Language, Literature and International Studies department will provide in the future.

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About the Contributor
Amelia Kashian, Features Editor
Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over time I have grown to become more and more fond of journalism. Now, I am excited to grow as a writer and build connections as a staff member of the North Wind. In my free time I enjoy running, finding new music, and exploring nature.