Photo by Tony Cece

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Student's Language Study Confirms Career Plans

By Rachel Judy
August 7, 2012

During her second week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Katherine Nace was given the rare opportunity to explore the building that houses the Latin American country's Supreme Court. For the aspiring attorney and current Regent University School of Undergraduate Studies student, this was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Katherine Nace stands in the Pallacio Judicial
Katherine Nace stands in the
Pallacio Judicial (The Supreme Court).

Beginning in July, Nace spent five weeks in Buenos Aires studying with Español y Cultura en LatinoAmerica (ECELA), a Spanish language program that places students in a number of Latin American countries, including Argentina.

"I was not only benefitting intellectually and socially, but my perspective was widened," Nace said. "Never in my life have I conversed with so many people that all possess radically different perspectives."

In the mornings, Nace took Spanish grammar and conversation courses, some focusing specifically on learning legal terminology and increasing fluency. In the afternoons, she divided her time between lectures at the university and exploring the city.

Nace has always had an interest in human rights issues and her experience in Buenos Aires only served to solidify her desire to make that her career.

"I attended a lecture about the human rights violations during the dictatorship [a period of political and social turmoil in Argentina from 1976-81], with a focus on the people who were imprisoned or who simply disappeared," she recalled. "Then, the next day, I visited the naval school (Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada) that was used as a clandestine detention center during the dictatorship.

"Listening to the guide talk about all the horrible things that were done to people because of their political views really made the facts that I had learned about the dictatorship come to life. I connected personal stories to facts, which made the detention center even more horrible. For me, it was a rather soul-wrenching experience."

ECELA approached Nace about participating in their program because of her affiliation with Phi Alpha Delta International, Regent's pre-law fraternity. Nace is a former president of the organization.

"The more I talked to people from all over the world, the more I realized just how blessed we are in the United States," she said. "The world can be a cruel and harsh place, even if it claims to protect human rights. Therefore, this experience has exponentially increased my desire to work with private organizations within Latin America that strive to give a voice to the voiceless and protect those that have become victims of violence and political oppression. Something has to be done."

Learn more about undergraduate degrees at Regent.
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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