| by Sierra Abukins

News Stories


Translation and Interpretation student Sidharth Babu MATI ’24 already knows what he will be doing after he completes his degree.

He is currently a diplomat with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, which regularly sends employees to the Middlebury Institute for advanced Chinese language studies.

“Not many people in India understand China well and that’s a difficult job. And many people in China don’t understand India,” he said. “As diplomats, we act as bridges between cultures. I felt like that was something worthwhile to do in life. It’s something that keeps you engaged.”

Sidharth Babu MATI ’24

An Indian diplomat shares what he’s gained deepening his Chinese language studies in Monterey.

He has been living and working in Beijing the last four years, monitoring China’s economy and developments that would affect bilateral trade with India. He’s enjoying deepening his study of Chinese at the Institute.

“It makes a world of difference. If you don’t understand the nuances of a language, you don’t really understand what the person is trying to say. A lot of implied meaning is hidden in language. As diplomats, interpreters, and facilitators of conversation, it’s very important.”

“It always keeps you on your toes to learn more and to be humble and curious all the time,” he said. “It’s very challenging and intense. If you put your heart into it, it will be very fruitful.”

While he misses the energy of Beijing, he’s also been enjoying Monterey.

“Riding your bike along the ocean to school isn’t that bad,” he said.

This fall, the Middlebury Institute welcomed 293 new students from 30 different countries.This story is part of a series with new students sharing how they came to the Institute and where they hope to go with their degrees.