The Language Academy turns 15 this week and anniversaries like this can make you reflective. As I look back, I can’t help but go over all the things that have happened, the lessons I’ve learned about running a business, and the people I’ve met and spent time with along the way.

One of my favorite things about the Language Academy are the friendships that are made in the classes, both between the students and also between teachers and their students. For me personally, it has been the greatest gift. I met my wife Erin when she took a class at the Academy 14 years ago and we have two lovely daughters as result. I know of at least one more wedding that has come to be because of our classes and a baby too. I’m sure there are more out there and that there are lot of stories, like our Italian Teacher/Motorcycle Journalist that met up with her student in Italy and took her around on her bike.  There’s also the French teacher who rearranged his trip to spend time with one of his students in Paris, or two great friends, like Shannon & Adwowa who met on one of our trips, which I wrote about in a previous post.

When I started the Academy, I was new to Charlotte and was trying to do everything on my own. As time has passed, I have grown and so has my outlook on how you get things done. It has taken sometime but I can genuinely say that I feel like a member of a community. People call on me for help and I call on them. I have realized that I can’t do everything by myself and that you get a lot more done by surrounding yourself with the right people. My office staff and I go together recently to celebrate our anniversary and it’s at times like those when I realize how much you have to rely on other people to move things forward. The truth is that I could not do any of this without them, and without all of the people who seek us out to learn a new language.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey, but especially Rodrigo, Heather, all of the teachers, and all of the students, both present and past. I would be remiss if I did not mention all of the companies that the greater Charlotte area that use our services as well. I have no idea where we’d be without you all. Here’s to many more years of making connections, learning to reach across cultures, and to trying something new. Life long learning is a special thing.


Craig Snyder is the Owner and President of The Language Academy of the Carolinas, Inc.