Josephine, Chinese Academy Student

Josephine hopes to learn multiple languages so that she can better understand the art and culture of countries she plans to visit someday.

“My name is Josephine O'Neill. I was originally born in London, England and moved to New York. Languages are very important to me. I really hope to learn Spanish, French, and Chinese. Because I'm very interested in art. And I think knowing about different cultures and languages helps a lot with that. Because traveling abroad and studying art, it's nice to know the language of people who are there, and who have studied in those different places.

“Communication it's what connects people. And I find it's very difficult when you go to a country, and someone's talking to you, and you can't understand what they're saying. But when do, when you study a language, and then you go somewhere and someone speaks to a language other than English, it's amazing. Because suddenly there's no more barrier between you and the other person.

“I was absolutely terrified when I first came here. So intimidated by all these people who are fluent in Spanish and French and Chinese. But I have to say that since I got here, it's been a really enriching experience. Being able to speak and write Chinese, and speak it to people who are fluent and have them understand, is a really amazing thing. And I really grateful for that.

“I'm looking forward to testing out how good my Chinese has gotten. I'm looking forward to going there. I've never been able to have a conversation with somebody who is fluent in Chinese. And so now, it's going to be quite different, going there and being able to talk to people about my interest in their culture. Because with the language barrier, it's difficult to say how excited you are to be in their country, and have them teach you. And so now, I'll be able to relate to them on a different level.”