Kathleen Thompson is a recipient of the Academic Year 2014-2015 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a Master’s candidate in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, I am studying community-based marine resource management and hope to work internationally, specifically in Latin America. Upon entering the Master’s program, I spoke Spanish and knew I wanted to develop my Portuguese so that I could work with small-scale fishing communities in the region. Supported by the Global Studies FLAS, I studied at Middlebury College’s Intensive Portuguese Language Program during Summer 2014 in Vermont. I started the program without knowing any Portuguese and after two months of only speaking, writing, and reading in Portuguese I developed a strong foundation of the language and learned about Brazilian culture and history. I have continued with Portuguese language classes at the UW. I know my Portuguese skills gained through the FLAS will serve me well in my future career and research.