World Languages and Cultures relies on your generosity to support enriched language and culture learning. Your gift can help support deserving students study abroad, purchase materials for the media center, fund student language club activities, and facilitate innovative programs like the Advanced Spanish Learning Community.

To make your gift, please contact Karen Mills at (541) 737-3847 or email

Meet Our Alumni:                     


Phil Thoma
Marketing and Communications Intern at BMW Headquarters in Munich, Germany

As a huge fan of cars and motorsports I’m happy to say that I was able to connect my strong interest in car industry with my career. One of my motivations to learn German was to better my marketability for German automobile producers and to be a part of one of the largest economies in the world. Breaking the language barrier was the first step for me in connecting to the global world. I feel challenged every day, but knowing this second language helped me to boost my confidence, and I couldn‘t be where I am today without speaking German.


Ed Miller
B.A. in German as a Post Baccalaureate student from Oregon State University
PhD. in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore
Retired Army Officer

My interest in the German language began with my first military assignment in Germany where I served as an Army officer. When I entered graduate school to study public policy and history, I chose German to meet a foreign language requirement.  When I retired from the Army in 2014, I decided to resume my language studies with the hope of becoming proficient enough to do historical research in German archives.  I thought OSU's German online degree program was the place to go because it allowed me to remain in North Carolina while working on my degree.  As a historian, I hope to write about the early Cold War years, especially focusing on the military occupation of Germany in the 1950's.  In March 2018 I completed my second bachelor's degree at OSU.  My studies at OSU have helped me develop a skill that will help me reach my goal.


Niki Hobbs
English Language Assistant Teacher in Germany
Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Studying German at OSU made it possible for me to receive the Fulbright scholarship and work and live in Germany.  This experience allowed me to connect with new communities and has furthered my interest in global health.  In addition to the networking benefits, learning German has been a fun and challenging adventure and I would urge anyone considering studying a foreign language to take the plunge - you never know where it might lead you!


Kayleen Salchenberg                                

Financial Aid Advisor
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Oregon State University

Studying Spanish has been everything to me. It has been a journey of not only learning a language, but a life-changing experience of viewing the world through multiple lenses. While studying language, I have learned about multiple countries: their histories, traditions, dances, struggles, triumph, and food. The journey of learning Spanish led me to study abroad in Ecuador, where my language flourished and my whole world became open. It has been five years since I graduated with my degree in Spanish, and I have used my Spanish while helping patients in the hospital, communicating to parents as a teacher, and I currently give presentations in Spanish on Financial Aid and Scholarships. My life has been enriched by learning Spanish and I cannot wait to learn another language!


Lua Villegas

Bilingual Case Manager,  Department of Justice
SAIF Corporation:Bilingual Investigator Bilingual Safety Management Consultant

After several job interviews where I was asked about my ability to speak another language, I realized how valuable a language degree would be. Since graduating with a degree in Spanish, I have put it to use in bilingual required positions. Not only has it let me break through language barriers, it has also allowed to me to break through gender barriers and into an industry dominated by monolingual men: Occupational Safety and Health. As a Bilingual Safety Consultant, I am fortunate to assist employers to create safe work places for their Spanish speaking workforce. This degree has increased my salary 500% but more so has afforded me the ability to make a difference.


Kelly K. Minks
M.Ed. Candidate

Department of Leadership, Language & Curriculum
Bilingual Bicultural Education Program
DePaul University

 Spanish has played an important role in helping to form my identity and career path as a bilingual educator in the United States and Latin America. While attending Oregon State, I completed through the fourth-year Spanish language sequence, which provided me the linguistic skills necessary to participate in an international internship in rural Chile, as well as to conduct research for my undergraduate thesis. These opportunities helped to pave the way for extensive travel, volunteer, and work opportunities throughout Latin America, and inspired me to pursue a master's degree in bilingual bicultural education so that I can help to educate, support, and advocate for Hispanic minority populations in urban schools. 


Katie Andersson

English Teacher
BS in public health and a BA in international studies

Learning Spanish has taken me from the Costa Rican beaches and jungles to the heights of Machu Picchu to the Quechua communities on Lake Titicaca. I have conversed with people from Israel, France, and Norway through a shared second language of Spanish when we would never have been able to talk otherwise. Learning one second language helped me learn another so that I could learn the native language of the village in which I lived in Malawi. I had traveled to eight different countries by the age of 21 and had infinitely more and better experiences because I took the time to take a second language seriously in college. Studying a second language has enhanced my friendships, job experiences, and overall life in more ways than I can tell in one paragraph.


Whitney Green

Licensed Acupuncturist and Business Owner
Masters of Acupuncture and  Oriental Medicine

Learning a second language at Oregon State University has been by far one of the best decisions I have made. It opened my eyes to appreciate other cultures and taught me dedication, adaptability, and humility.  I studied abroad in Ecuador where I immersed myself in the language, which forced me to step out of my comfort zone, speak Spanish, and grow personally.  I have since spent time in Costa Rica, Australia, and China. In the United States Spanish is the most spoken language behind English. Speaking Spanish differentiates me in my career, as I am able to communicate with Spanish speaking patients in their native tongue and I can better relate to their needs. Every college student should learn a second language and make an effort to study abroad. 


Cody Donahue

 Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF


Completing a French minor as an undergraduate at OSU opened an incredible world of opportunities to me. For example, during junior year, I completed a Certificat d’Etudes Politiques at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lyon which deepened my understanding of French and European politics. Thanks to my strong French writing and speaking skills, I obtained my first internship in international development at Tostan, an award-winning community empowerment organization based in Senegal. That began a seven year journey with Tostan covering 8 African countries, of which 6 were Francophone.The foundation in French I obtained through OSU was critical to succeeding in this work. Now in my third year at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), I use French on a daily basis in my work overseeing global programming in child protection that includes at least 20 Francophone countries. French is an official language of the United Nations and the language of diplomacy. Without my French training, I could not be doing this work I am passionate about today.


Victoria Horng

 M.S. Ed. Candidate

Victoria completed a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures with a Chinese concentration at OSU in 2013.  She will begin working toward an M.S in Education at the University of Pennsylvania in Spring of 2015.