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Andrew Schwartz '17

Andrew Schwartz is from Andover, MA, just north of Boston. He graduated from UMass in 2017 with a major in Spanish and minors in Economics, Catalan, and Portuguese. Andrew is now an accomplished translator.

He considers himself lucky for having come to UMass knowing full well what he wanted to study: Spanish.

“I've always been a social, energetic person, and I loved the idea of an academic concentration that involved being able to meet and communicate with people from around the world, while at the same time learning about their cultures. Languages, and in particular Spanish, had been a passion of mine from a young age and I wanted to do all I could to further my linguistic and cultural education. Spanish just happened to be the first language I turned to because of its popularity.” 

Andrew also came to UMass for our Catalan program. He learned about Catalan early on in high school, when he had the opportunity to live with a host family in Barcelona, where he quickly fell in love with the culture and language of Catalonia. 

“I became interested in the Catalan program at UMass after hosting a boy from Barcelona for three months in high school, and then living with his family for two months. His family was kind enough to switch to Spanish for the duration of my stay so that I could improve, but when we would spend time with his friends everything was in Catalan.”

What Andrew did not know is just how much of an impact the minority language would have on his life, especially after being told to pursue more “marketable” languages. His studies in Catalan led him to spend the entire 2015-2016 academic year at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, where he took courses in Translation and Interpretation. Because at that time he already had a strong command of both Catalan and Spanish, he was able to really settle in and establish connections and friendships. 

“Both my knowledge of Catalan and new experience in translation led me to develop my profile as a translator, especially as someone working from Catalan into English, a highly sought-after language pair.”

The year after graduation Andrew completed an M.A. Translation, Interpretation, and Intercultural Studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He has recently received his official certification of fluency in Spanish and hopes to do the same for Catalan this coming spring. Andrew’s hope is to move to Barcelona in the near future. You can find his professional profile in Linkedin.