Born in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Maureen Ihrie studied Spanish, German and Russian in high school, but always planned to major in Spanish, even though she had never traveled beyond California and North Dakota. When she began undergraduate studies in Pennsylvania, she had never heard Spanish spoken by a native speaker.  Thanks to a generous scholarship from her university, she spent the summer of her junior year in Spain, where a new world of differences was revealed to her, and she began to truly understand how other cultures and countries enrich one’s life.  During her career as a university professor, she took students to language programs in Madrid, Sevilla, Cuernavaca, Xalapa, and Zacatecas, so that they too might experience the deep personal transformation that can occur when one enters into another culture through that culture’s language, people and values.  Fortunate to travel widely, in August 2016, she began learning Portuguese in preparation for a visit to Lisbon, where her daughter lives.  Like Dr. Lunsford, she is delighted that this grant from the Department of World Languages and Cultures will allow students to experience international encounters in non-English languages.