It all began with my hatred of Spanish. I was in 9th grade and going to that class felt like the bane of my existence. I loathed everything. The vocabulary, the grammar, the irregular grammar, speaking it, reading it, everything. I told my parents I was not going to take it my sophomore year. I was done.
But, my parents, being my wonderful parents, knew that if I took one more year, I could fulfill the college language requirement. And so, we arrive at my sophomore year and I’m taking Spanish again.
Looking back, that decision (however forced it felt at the time) was a pivotal moment for me. That year of Spanish was different. My teacher was great. At some point, class became more fun and interesting. Next thing I knew, I’m telling my parents about an overseas Spanish exchange program that I wanted to do. After much talk and research, we committed to hosting a Spanish girl for two weeks and I would travel to her home for the same amount of time.
That trip was truly life changing. I had fallen in love with Spain and wanted to go back any way I could manage. In the coming years, my college visits focused on finding quality study abroad programs. While I originally planned for a semester abroad, I learned that I could study for one year and still graduate in four. My junior year was spent in Granada, where my love of Spain and travelling deepened. I loved the culture, the different pace of life, the adventure of travelling, and the rush of accomplishing a simple task in my second language.
I returned from Granada with a determination to go back to Spain upon graduation. I was accepted to my dream program, Teach & Learn, in Madrid, Spain. I received a scholarship to get my Master’s in International Education at the University of Alcalá and taught English in an elementary school.
Now, after 3 incredible years in España, I have moved back to the US to pursue my passion of teaching students about studying abroad and helping them find the tools to be valuable members of a global society.