- M.A., École d’Interprètes Internationaux
- M.A., Monterey Institute of International Studies
- B.A., École d’Interprètes Internationaux
Pierre Schmitz was born in Liège, Belgium. He attended grade school in La Louvière at Institut St Joseph and college in Mons at École d’Interprètes Internationaux. His native language is French. His father, although he speaks the German dialect of the Cantons de l’Est, never really spoke German at home. Schmitz’s first true exposure to, and learning of, a foreign language was in grade school; English at age 12, Dutch at age 14, and German at age 16.
In college, Schmitz majored in translation and interpretation. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at the École d’Interprètes Internationaux (E.I.I.) where he studied English and German, and a year of Danish. At the E.I.I., he also earned a post-graduate certificate of specialization in language didactics.
After completing his graduate studies at the E.I.I., Schmitz took advantage of an exchange program between the E.I.I. and Louisiana State University in Shreveport. While an exchange student, he taught one French class at LSU-S and that is where his passion for teaching, and for teaching French, was born.
He then worked for the Commission for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) and taught French in several Bossier City grade schools for the next three years. By then, Schmitz had met Christie, a R.N. from Shreveport, Louisiana, who he later married in Le Roeulx, Belgium. They moved to Monterey, California, where Schmitz earned a second Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).
Immediately after earning his degree, Schmitz taught a beginners French class and an Advanced Grammar and Composition class at MIIS. Schmitz and his wife then moved to New Braunfels, Texas.
Schmitz has taught high school French in Austin, San Antonio and New Braunfels before he began teaching at the collegiate level. Pierre and his wife have two sons who are trilingual.
Schmitz’s true passion is to teach his native language, as well as German, and show his students that learning French or German — or any foreign language for that matter — is much simpler than anyone makes it to be. It may not be easy and appear overwhelming, but it is simple. He believes any degree of fluency in French, German or in any other language, is rewarding, both personally and professionally.