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PHONE: 1.800.225.2027 / 1.904.256.7000


Jacksonville UniversityOffice of Admissions

2800 University Blvd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32211

Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Division of Humanities

Jacksonville University
2800 University Blvd N.
Jacksonville, Florida, 32211

Tel. 904-256-7102

Designed by prof. Jorge. M. 2011. Jacksonville University.

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According to US Government statistics, as of 2010 there were an estimated 6.8 billion people on earth encompassing untold numbers of languages, skin colors, religions, and cultures.

But in Dr. Jorge Mafjud’s Spanish 416 class (on Ernesto Sábato), we have gained an appreciation of how enormous the world really is and how similar we all really are despite our backgrounds and ethnicities. This class brings together a group of six very unique students in Council 103 every TTH at 1:30pm to focus on the issues of Spanish Literature and to share relevant experiences of growing up as an international student.

Four of the six students from Spanish 416 were recently featured on the cover of this semester’s issue of Latinoture. Grace Han, although born in the United States, grew up with South Korean parents and has lived in Mexico City, for most of her life. Han can be considered a triple threat, fluently speaking Korean, Spanish and English. Jesus Soto was born in Cuba where he lived until he was 18 years old. He moved to Russia for five years where he got his masters in Astronomy and Geodetics before moving to Venezuela for 10 years. Soto has lived in Florida for the last seven years and currently works and studies at Jacksonville University. Argentina Nieves, a New York native born of Puerto Rican parents, both works and studies at Jacksonville University. Nieves lived in Brooklyn, NY for most of her life, and for the past 15 years has lived in Florida. Kyle Suchý was born in Belarus and begun studying Spanish when his family moved to New York. Lastly, is myself, Aixa Julias. I was born in Peru where I lived until I was 11 years old before immigrating to the United States for the past 11 years. Growing up with a Peruvian mother and an American dad has helped me understand both sides of this very different worlds, especially with language speaking both Spanish and English in our household.

Although the majority of students in Dr. Majfud’s class come from Hispanic/Latino decent or have some link to the Hispanic/Latino heritage, there are other students with equally diverse backgrounds that have been captivated by the Spanish culture. Enrolled in the Spanish 416 class are Emily Hollister and Kyle Suchý, Emily Hollister, a Vermont native who started as a Dance major, is now majoring in Spanish and thoroughly enjoys the international flavor her classmates bring each session. Also in the class is Kyle Suchý, from Belarus, Russia who can also be seen as a triple threat, speaking fluent Russian, English and Spanish.

As students in America we sometimes get drowned in our lives of convenience and comfort, forgetting how enormous the world really is. In a small institution such as Jacksonville University with 3,500 students, if one takes a closer look one can see the variety of cultures that are within the fences making that person next to you that much more interesting. The world is a big place yet very small at the same time.  We are fortunate to live in a time when global accessibility is more within our reach than ever before.  The more we learn about each other’s cultures and backgrounds the less intimidated we become of their traditions and thus build tolerances to things we might perceive as ‘different’. This is what makes the world a better place and Dr. Majfud’s Spanish 416 class is a living example of this diversity in action. 

By Aixa Julias, JU.