Class of 2007, Spanish
Hola! My name is Katie Heird. My passion for Spanish began when I participated in a Volunteer program in Oaxaca, Mexico, Fundación Comunitarias Oaxaca, after my freshman year at SU. My experience as an undergrad in the Spanish program was excellent: small classes, great professors and wonderful study aboard opportunities. My Spanish professors helped me to decide on a study abroad program in Cuenca, Ecuador at the Centro de Estudios Interamericanos (CEDEI). I came for a semester, fell in love with Cuenca, and returned a year later to work as an intern in the Office of International Programs. During my internship, I was offered a job.
Thanks to my Salisbury experience, I am currently working in Ecuador as a Coordinadora de Programas Internacionales; in English this means that I work with university and high school students before and during their study aboard experience at CEDEI. In the upcoming academic session I will start teaching too! The highlight of my job is leading students on tours throughout Ecuador and Peru. My favorite trips include the Amazon Rainforest and Machu Picchu. If you want to check out SU’s study abroad options at CEDEI visit www.cedei.org.
Without my time as an undergrad at Salisbury, not only would I not have the skills for my job, I wouldn’t have my job. First and foremost I need to speak Spanish daily. Secondly, it was through SU that I was able to develop such a passion for the language and culture of Latin America. Lastly, the most vital lesson I learned from my experience at SU was the importance of one-on-one attention I received from my professors and my academic advisor. From their genuine commitment to helping me in my academic pursuits during and after my undergraduate career I learned that it is crucial to give that same commitment to my own students.
After my time in Cuenca, I would like to continue helping people break down cultural barriers through intercultural communications.
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Salisbury University Alumni (class of 2006)
Spanish Secondary Education major
I am currently a High School Spanish teacher at Yongsan International School of Seoul, located in South Korea.
The qualifications and experience that I received during my undergraduate studies at Salisbury University have prepared me immensely for the many challenging, yet rewarding, endeavors that go along with teaching. I never would have survived the past two years without the quality training that I received at Salisbury. Surprisingly, my ability to speak Spanish has also helped me in my many travels around the world, including interacting with other airport customers, with Hispanics in Seoul, as well as Peruvian woman in a Thailand prison.
Undoubtedly there is an growing population of Hispanics and Latinos living in the United States, as evidenced by the fact that Spanish is the second language of many of its residents. Pursuing the study of the Spanish language will enhance one’s ability to communicate with this community. Additionally one’s qualifications and marketability for several different occupations would be increased through the acquisition of the Spanish language. Pertaining specifically to Salisbury University, Spanish majors are given a substantial amount of individual attention and quality learning opportunities in part because the student to faculty ratio is extremely favorable. The professors always made themselves available to me and offered any assistance or advice when necessary.
I am currently in the process of applying to the Louisiana State University graduate program of Guidance Counseling. This will help to broaden my options in the educational sector. However, I have no doubt that sooner or later my future profession will likely entail some sort of involvement or action helping with the Hispanic and Latino population residing in the United States, as much of my heart lies with this community.
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