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Ashley Hill '20

Japanese and French major

Mount Union was the first and last university that I visited - it was exactly what I was looking for.


Japanese and French major 



Road to Mount

I found out about Mount Union my junior year of high school at a college fair in a neighboring district. I was strictly looking for universities that were offering both Japanese and French as majors and happened to stumble across the Mount Union booth. The representative was extremely nice and encouraging of me following my dreams. They talked me into visiting Mount Union and it was love at first sight. Mount Union was the first and last university that I visited - it was exactly what I was looking for.

Home away from Home

There are so many reasons that I consider Mount Union to be a second home to me! First of all, Mount Union has a very small campus with a relatively small student body as well. That leads to familiarity between students and faculty. Being a world language (double) major, I have gotten very familiar with my professors, as I have seen them every semester. I love that at this university the professors are able to get to know us as students, and as people. I even see my professors at the grocery store and they stop to talk to me! Another reason that Mount Union is like a second home to me is because we have a very close knit community here. There are always events or clubs happening where we students are able to have fun and get to know each other. Mount Union will always be my home away from home.

Double Majoring 

Honestly, I've just known since I was in elementary school that this was what I wanted to do. This was where I met my first international student (in elementary school). I became best friends with this girl, Kurumi Yamakawa from Japan. She would teach me Japanese words and small "lessons" on Japanese culture. This was more of just her telling me what it was like at her home. Since then I have been interested in learning about all things Japan: history, language, culture, etc. I first had the opportunity to study in depth about Japan at Mount Union and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. I started learning French in high school, as most of us do. In my high school, to graduate with honors I had to take at least two years of a foreign language. My school only offered French and Spanish, so I chose the class with the teacher that was more fun and had more parties-French. When I started at Mount Union, I just decided to continue with French because I really enjoyed it in high school, and I still enjoy learning it just as much now.

Experiences Studying Abroad

I have had the amazing opportunity of studying abroad twice! In order to complete both of my majors there are requirements to study abroad in a country where that language is spoken. In the Spring 2018 semester I spent the semester studying in Pau, France at l'Université de Pau. This study abroad program is extremely language intensive and it was exactly what I needed to improve my French. In the Spring 2019 semester I spent the semester studying in Hirakata, Japan and Kansai Gaidai University. Both of these are invaluable experiences that will no doubt prove to be useful in my future. My favorite experience has to be my semester abroad in Japan. I made so many connections abroad, had so many new experiences, and simply had an enormous amount of fun.

Advice to High School Seniors

I recommend that you do research on the type of university/college that you think would best suit you. Take in factors such as: how far you want to be from home, whether you would prefer to attend a large/small school, private/public one, and most importantly (in my opinion) find a school that has what YOU think you want to study. But of course, don't be pressured into going to college if you don't think that it's for you. In the end, it is your choice!

Life After Mount

My ultimate dream would be to be a successful translator for not just French but also Japanese. I don't know exactly who I would like to translate for yet, but possibly the government. My biggest dream would be to be living in either France or Japan doing translation work. Mount Union's Department of World Languages and Cultures is extremely dedicated to setting their students up for success after graduation. The courses are intensive as to set you up and prepare you for what it is going to be like after graduation for example.