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Japanese at Carthage

Student Voices

  • Alex Rogers '21

Alex Rogers ’21


Grand Rapids, Michigan


Japanese and Spanish

Favorite spot on campus

“I love the beach and the volleyball court behind The Tower.”

Career goal

“I hope to go on to grad school and eventually become a professor of languages at a university.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“I’ve been extremely lucky to not have a single bad experience with a professor in my time at Carthage. Every class I’ve taken has been an absolute blast. A few professors who have had an especially good influence on my college career are Professor Yan Wang, Professor Matthew Borden, and Professor Michael McShane. They all challenged me to push myself in their classes, and I owe a lot of my college success to them.”

Favorite class

Intellectual Foundations, with Prof. McShane has been my favorite class. His teaching style was completely new to me, unlike anything I’d ever experienced. He was clearly extremely passionate about the books we read, and his grading system was super strict, which forced all of us in the class to think deeper than I bet most of us planned.”

Toughest class

“The honors program class Thinking Like a Historian has higher standards due to being within the honors program. We spent the entire semester diving deep into the Irish potato famine, and while it was all very interesting, the sheer level of detail and minute factual information we were required to learn made for a difficult class.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Due to my majors, I was lucky to get to spend two semesters abroad, one in Spain and one in Japan. The whole daunting process of selecting a program and applying was made much easier due to the connections and good standing Carthage has within the community of study abroad.”


“I receive the Carthage merit scholarship.”

Campus involvement

“I’ve been a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta and Alpha Mu Gamma honors societies — the latter being a modern language honors society that connects you with other like-minded individuals that are really interested in furthering their studies of languages. I was also a member of the Tea Club, and I attended meetings of a few other organizations but never had the time to join them. Now that I’m done with my time abroad, I plan to join many more student organizations.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Meeting new people and living on campus has really made my life a lot more fun and interesting. There are so many chances to reach out and make friends on campus.”

Biggest surprise so far

“All of the teachers are so kind and supportive. In high school, I imagined that college professors were intimidating and strict, but that wasn’t the case at all. All of my professors are wonderful and helpful individuals.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would probably be a bit sad that I’m not the captain of a submarine or something outlandish like that. But honestly, he’d probably be quite proud of me. My father was a Spanish professor, and my mother is a professor of dietetics, so I think my younger self would be proud to see me following in their footsteps.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Put in the work outside of class. You will not improve your language ability by spending three to four hours a week speaking the language within a classroom environment. You need to read in the language, reach out to native or near-native level speakers and try to hold dialogues. Take the initiative to better your ability. It will be noticeable to your teachers and to your peers if you aren’t giving it your all.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …