International studies major roams far
for language, learning, wanderlust
By David King
Leona Osinga has a global perspective, one that reaches from her home — a Dutch-speaking family farm in East Texas — to points as far as Europe and New Zealand. With the support of Texas State University faculty, she’s made the world her classroom, seeking its lessons one language at a time.
An international studies major — with a double minor in French and geography — she’s crossed borders and language barriers near and far, all for the sake of learning about the world.
“Leona is just a force of nature,” says Dr. Jennifer Forrest, one of her French professors.
Even as a high school student, Osinga was driven to explore other cultures, spending one semester of her sophomore year in New Zealand. Coming to Texas State, she knew she wanted to get into international studies, with a focus on international business. After her first semester of French, she decided she needed to immerse herself in the language, so she hunted online for a summer job in France. And landed one.
“Everything was in French, which was a big challenge,” she says. “I’d recommend it for anyone looking to learn a language — just jump right in.”
Osinga says she came to Texas State to broaden her horizons. And she hasn’t been disappointed, meeting people from around the world and benefiting from close involvement with the French faculty.
“There’s something for everybody here,” she says. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you may have done previously.”
Find out more about Osinga’s globetrotting adventures and language acquisitions — she speaks English, Dutch, Frisian and French — by reading her full story in the Rising Stars archives and watching the video below.