First stop – language school! Nearly every Maryknoll Society member begins his foreign mission career learning the language of his new home. Over the years, Maryknoll established language schools in most of its mission locations. Once there, students spent around six hours a day, five days a week, learning the ins and outs of the languages of the people they would serve. Language school could take up to two years, depending on how challenging a Maryknoller found his dialect of choice. Students also learned about the cultures they would join as missioners. They experienced food markets, church services, social clubs, and other facets of everyday life. And part of learning the culture was having adventures. Maryknollers’ adventures at language school came in many shapes and sizes, as you can see below. Whether they were visiting a cultural site or making new friends, Maryknollers knew how to make their time in language school exciting!
~Arequipa Language School Diary, November 1, 1949
~Fr. Steven Scherrer, November 1979 Tanzania Inter-Unit Newsletter
~Tokyo Language School Diary, May 9, 1953