(Posted March 21, 2013)

A map of Spain, where Juniata student Chelesa Wilson will be working teaching English to Spanish speaking students.

A map of Spain, where Juniata student Chelesa Wilson will be working teaching English to Spanish speaking students.

With Commencement rapidly approaching, Juniata's Class of 2013 hurries to prepare for life after graduation. Whether it's going directly to graduate school or finding a starter job, many seniors are finalizing their plans. Chelsea Wilson, a Juniata College senior, has recently learned of her acceptance into a program stationed in Spain, where she will teach English as a second language. She shares her thoughts and expectations for the program, as well as the application process.

Q: Can you give a general explanation of the program?

A: I'm going to be a language assistant in Spain. I'll be in Spanish classrooms to help the students learn English. I applied to work with secondary level students, but if I stay in the program for another year, I might decide to teach an older group.

Q: How did you find out about this opportunity? Does Juniata have any affiliation with the program?

A: I found out about the program from Henry Thurston-Griswold from the Spanish department. He told me about it when I asked him whether there were any opportunities for me abroad. There are also students that are there right now who are involved in the program.

Q: Has your time at Juniata helped prepare you for such an experience? How?

A: At Juniata I took two semesters of Spanish. My study abroad experience in India is also helpful. It gave me a sense of what it's like to live in a foreign country. My good experience abroad has also made me want to go abroad again.

Q: What are you most excited about in regards to the program?

A: I'm really excited to improve my Spanish. I love speaking Spanish with native speakers, even though my speaking skills aren't the best. I'm also excited to explore Spain and Europe.

Q: How do you think your participation in this program will aid you in your future plans?

A: Working abroad will give me a sense of independence because I'll be on my own. I'm responsible for finding my own apartment, so it will teach me a lot about life skills. It will also help me improve my Spanish skills, which I can bring back to the U.S. to help me find a job. Hopefully I'll be able to pay off some of my student loans as well.

-Melissa Famularo '13, Juniata Online Journalist

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.