orn in Ethiopia, raised in Botswana and steeped in the very different cultures and languages of those disparate African countries, Arsema Abegaz speaks American English without even a trace of an accent.
“Being young and impressionable, I did not enjoy sticking out like a sore thumb every time I spoke,” Abegaz explains in her Pittsfield apartment. Now 25, she came to the Berkshires in 2010 to study at Williams College.
“And so I found myself putting on an American accent my first year,” she continues. “I do pick up languages and accents pretty quickly. By the time I was a junior, I realized one day that I wasn’t putting it on anymore.”