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June 2021 - Jay Wellik

Passionate about his work as a volcanologist, Jay embarked on his Spanish learning journey for his job as it requires him to interact with partners across Latin America. He first became a student at Tierra when we offered an on-site course at the US Geological Survey in Vancouver. Since then, he has invested countless hours in his Spanish studies, mostly in private lessons through which he’s been able to acquire both general conversation skills and technical vocabulary related to his work. An inquisitive and hard-working student, Jay’s scientific mind naturally seeks the deepest understanding; he probes to uncover the logic of Spanish grammar. Unphased by challenges, he demonstrates tenacity and great determination in his quest for Spanish fluency. Fun fact - he’s also studied Indonesian in order to communicate with partners in Indonesia, it would be hard to find someone more passionate about language and volcanos! It is an honor for us to count Jay as part of our Tierra community and we look forward to continuing to see him turning his goals into reality.

Name: Jay Wellik
Occupation: Volcanologist, Cascades Volcano Observatory, US Geological Survey
Time Studying at Tierra: Since Fall 2015

1) Why are you studying Spanish?

"I'm studying Spanish for my job. I work with a team at the US Geological Survey that acts as a liaison to foreign volcano observatories. We work in the Philippines, Indonesia, and across Latin America. Reading reports in Spanish about seismic activity and volcanic activity is a daily part of my job, but conversing with partners is also common. The personal relationships we build with our partners is very important, so it's good to have a broad command of the language. In general, I really enjoy learning languages, so I'm very thankful my work gives me this opportunity."

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra?

"I've taken group classes and private lessons from Tierra. All the teachers are fantastic, and they bring a wide range of teaching styles and perspectives. I love that I've been able to customize my language learning experience to my job through private lessons. I know that mastering a language takes a lot of time, and it's great to have a solid, reliable language school for that journey."

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here?

"I'm able to use my language skills from Tierra every day! Pre-COVID, my job took me to Mexico, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Colombia for field work. Those have been the most enjoyable opportunities to use Spanish."

¡Felicidades Jay!