Brian Sweeney

Brian Sweeney, UAF graduate

Double Major in Civil Engineering & French Studies, 2008

Currently in Germany
From Butte, Alaska

“Initially I started learning French as an effort to understand my European friends, the majority of which were French, whom I met during a year of study abroad in Sweden. I studied French at first as a minor to my civil engineering degree, and then, after the completion of my civil engineering degree, as a second major. During my studies I had the chance to go to Québec for the intensive French summer program at the University Laval on a scholarship. I took advantage of the French Film Club and had a taste of acting in the play ‘The Lesson’ by Eugene Ionesco, which we performed in French. Then I went to France for a year to teach English to high school students. In France I also happened to meet my wife.

I traveled a lot in Europe during my stay and moved there after my graduation in order to be with my then fiancée. I studied German for a year and went on to get a Masters of Hydrology from the University of Freiburg. I am currently employed in Germany as an engineer, but I also have opportunities to work on international projects. I won’t finish with the cliché, that ‘a foreign language opens doors for you.’ A person opens their own door: language just gives you more doors to choose from!”