Growing up the in the U.S., Marva’s exposure to foreign languages was minimal. Aside from studying French in high school and college, she had no desire to learn any secondary languages. However, that all changed when she arrived in Italy for work.

Signing up for one-on-one Italian classes with Berlitz Milan ignited Marva’s passion for languages and she quickly realized how this could boost her career. Successfully combining study with work and travel, she was able to walk the walk and talk the talk – wherever she was.

Marva embraced learning Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Greek, and the world was her stage.

Achieving career goals and making valuable connections

“Learning languages, mostly through Berlitz language programs has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life,” Marva shares.

Having the ability to speak multiple languages opened up a whole range of career opportunities and moments of connection.

“During my early Portuguese studies, I had direct supervision of two Brazilian employees who initially spoke no English and we effectively communicated in Portuguese.”

Marva realized how far her language skills had progressed when she was “in a project discussion with colleagues from Costa Rica and Brazil and the conversation easily rotated between Spanish, Portuguese, and English.”

“I’ll also never forget being told jokes in fluent Portuguese about Americans. That’s when you really know you’ve been fully accepted and immersed in a culture!”

For Marva, learning languages was just like ‘riding a bike’, “When I returned to Spain fifteen years after studying, I was amazed how quickly and magically my Spanish proficiency and confidence returned.”

Bringing a whole new meaning to ‘learning on-the-go’

Most of Marva’s working years were spent traveling the world, in the company of clients from various countries with different languages and cultures, so she needed a language-learning option that could keep up.

“The flexible study options offered through Berlitz made it easy for me to combine work and study and the Berlitz Method really is seamless. I’d study and work in one country one day, and in a different country the next. The local Berlitz instructors would simply continue the lesson where I’d left off, and they were always accommodating to my needs.

Not only that but it’s extremely effective. For example, after a three-week Total Immersion Spanish course, and ongoing in-country one-on-one lessons, I had a solid foundation and the confidence and comprehension to work effectively in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic.

Being able to showcase my language skills earned me great respect and trust from my clients.

Although the major delivery of the courses was performed verbally, the supporting digital, audio, and textbook content allowed me to continually improve my language skills on my own time.”

A lifelong love of languages meets the full Berlitz experience!

  • After her initial Italian lessons, Marva went on to attend Total Immersion Spanish course in Florida, staying in a hotel next to the learning center where she studied all day, 5- or 6-days per week for 3 weeks.
  • She continued to progress her Spanish skills by taking one-on-one classes with Berlitz wherever her career took her; from Orlando to London to Sao Paolo to the Dominican Republic and eventually completed the full Spanish course.
  • Not content with mastering both Italian and Spanish, Marva moved on to completing a full one-on-one course in Portuguese with Berlitz Orlando and Berlitz Sao Paolo, Brazil. This facilitated several years of working with multiple clients in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.
  • A customized speech preparation course with Berlitz Sao Paolo helped her deliver a speech for more than 50 directors and corporate officials of a highly respected Brazilian bank.
  • By 2005, a 3-year assignment took Marva to Europe, and, of course, to another language to embrace. This time Greek, and group lessons with her colleagues at Berlitz Athens.
  • Spending more time at her company’s office in Milan meant more one-on-one Italian lessons which she continued during her travels between Milan, London, and Orlando.
  • Today, Marva continues to strengthen her love and knowledge of Italian, with Berlitz Live Online lessons.

Reflecting on a remarkable life

“I cannot fail to mention the influence my New York-immigrant Italian grandmother (who only spoke basic English) had on me. She led me to visit Italy and begin my love affair with languages.” Marva says. Now retired, she has returned to learning her paternal family language of Italian with Berlitz Live Online lessons.

“After 35 years of language successes and an amazing consistency of quality in teaching, I had no doubt that Berlitz online delivery would be anything less than highly successful.

With Berlitz, studying languages has become a core value of my life experience thanks to the company's consistent professionalism, availability of classes around the world, proficiency in scheduling, friendly administrator assistance, the comfort of the facilities, helpfulness of the supporting materials, coherence of the lessons, and competence of the instructors.

"I have lived a blessed life and much of those blessings have been involved with my study of languages and my fellowship with Berlitz.”

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