Emily Koshollek

Position title: 2018 SIPI Alumna

Second-year master’s student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UW-Madison focusing on Spanish linguistics

What motivated you to enroll in SIPI? My motivation to enroll in SIPI was three-fold. First, I knew that I wanted to go on to graduate school at Madison, and that speaking Portuguese would be a significant benefit to that. Secondly, I had heard about Bate Papo, the Portuguese conversation table. Thirdly, I had heard of the intensive language programs at UW Madison and the level of proficiency that learners were able to achieve, and I knew that I wanted to have that experience. 

What made the language learning at SIPI different from other language classes you have taken? Upon entering the program, I appreciated the pacing of the classes and the focus on culture- I’ve always been a bit of a speed demon in language classes and have also been disappointed by the lack of cultural context in other language courses. Speaking Portuguese has helped me make new friends through Bate Papo, which I attended weekly before COVID. 

What advice do you have for people looking at participating in SIPI? For future students of SIPI, my advice is to make friends and rely on your classmates and your instructor! I think making friends is important in any language course, but given the time investment that SIPI represents, and the volume of information presented, relying on those around you proved to be immensely helpful to me.