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Home > People > Interviews > Globetrotter and Multi-linguist, Susanna Zaraysky, Fosters Global Citizens

Globetrotter and Multi-linguist, Susanna Zaraysky, Fosters Global Citizens

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Susanna Zaraysky
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Susanna Zaraysky grew up in California in a low-income Soviet immigrant family with inadequate English language skills. She went on to study 10 languages, live in nine countries and travel to over 50. Susanna is passionate about sharing her experience and belief that no matter one’s economic status or past language learning experience, anyone can be multilingual and see the world.

Thank you Susanna for answering a few questions for us! To start, please tell us about the latest project you've worked on.

In June, I published two books, Language is Music and Travel Happy, Budget Low in the Create Your World Book Series. Language is Music focuses on how to learn foreign languages using music and the media. Travel Happy, Budget Low is a guidebook with tips on how to travel the world economically. Both are based on my personal experience as I speak seven languages, have lived in nine countries and have traveled to over 50.

Have you received any awards for your work?

Not yet!

Do you also do speaking engagements, or seminars?

Yes, I have presented my books and language learning methodology at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of San Francisco and San Jose State University. I was also on a panel about US-Arab cultural relations at the Doha International Book Fair in Qatar in December 2008.

How has your education, profession or background helped you in your writing career? Or conversely, how has you writing success helped you in your  profession?

I studied some of the foreign languages I speak in college, where I was focusing my studies on Political Economy as I wanted to do economic development work. I have worked, studied and lived in Bosnia, Argentina, France, Mexico, Hungary and Ukraine. Through my international experiences, I've seen the importance of language learning. I think that instead of planning economic development models, I can be more effective in helping people to learn foreign languages and get on their own feet.

What kind of other works (books, scripts, poems etc.) have you had published?

Later this year, I will publish my memoir, One Eyed Princess in Babel, about my life in different languages and cultures.

Is there any aspect to your profession that gets you in touch with your readers directly?

Yes, when I give presentations, people come up to me and talk to me about the impact that my tools have on them. They are inspired to see the world and learn languages.

What will your next project be?

To create a program on MTV to inspire young people to learn Spanish using Spanish language music.

Who inspires you on a personal or business level?

Dr. Oliver Sacks, the renowned neurologist, who has beautifully written about how the brain reacts to music. He challenges what was previously thought about the brain.

What type of work is the most rewarding or satisfying for you?

The projects that have the most impact on inspiring people to become global citizens and see the world!

What can you recommend for writers who are just getting started and are trying to make a name for themselves?

Don't listen to the naysayers. Believe in yourself, even if no one else believes in you. Be your best cheerleader!

How did you get started as a writer?

I worked as an editor at the Buenos Aires Herald in Argentina.

Which is your favorite book/work published? Is there a favorite?

The Fortune Teller Told Me by Tiziano Terzani.

Finally, a most important question: what was the last song you sang out loud when you were by yourself?  :)

 Gia il sole dal Gange by Alessandro Scarlatti

Thank you Susanna! We're looking forward to your memoir One Eyed Princess in Babel and your MTV program!

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