With help from the Carthage Modern Language Department and its professors, junior and economics major, James Durdan has discovered a passion for travel and language. After an impactful J-Term study tour in Guatemala, James has found himself as a Spanish minor and was recently awarded a Global Heritage Prize for his Spanish poetry.
In the future, James hopes to incorporate world travel with a job in economics in order to expand his perspective on the world and create positive change.
“I hope to continue to travel and learn about the world around me. Specifically, I hope I find a job that allows me to travel and make the world a better place.”
“Professor Edward Montanaro has had a great impact on my current life course. I went on a Guatemalan J-Term study tour with him. Before going, I was nervous about going to a foreign country, but I am now trying to go to as many countries as I can. He truly opened my eyes to the joys of world travel and I am planning on going to Costa Rica, South Africa, and Lesotho in the coming months. Thanks, Ed! You truly fueled my desire to see the world!”
“International Relations has been my toughest class. The expectations of the professor and my personal standards were high.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“I have been able to travel to Guatemala and Canada due to Carthage-organized trips. They were well-organized and were definitely worth the cost. I was also able to win the Global Heritage Prize for the Spanish poetry that I wrote while in Guatemala.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“I have truly enjoyed watching Packer games with my roommate, seeing campus movies with my friends, and doing volunteer activities with multiple on-campus organizations.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“The biggest surprise for me so far is that I am now a Spanish minor. Originally, I planned to just take required Spanish language classes. I kept having continued success in them and I truly enjoyed them. That unexpected desire to continue my Spanish allowed me to go on the Guatemalan Spanish language immersion trip and it has opened up my world immensely.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“He would think that my travels are awesome and that I am going to see all the places that he read about in his favorite history books.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“If you want to learn about a large set of subjects and be able to speak intelligently about almost any issue, my majors are for you.”