Student crouching and smiling at the camera at the top of a set of stairs
International Studies

Where are you from?

I am from Salem, Oregon.

Why are you interested in Spanish, international studies, and education as your fields of study?

It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to study at Oregon State. I was involved with the exploratory studies program my first year, but had limited exposure to different career paths as a result of the remote learning environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon doing some independent research, I discovered a tactic designed to help those exploring different career paths to find their passions that involved asking the five people that knew them best what they could envision them doing professionally. I decided to try it out, and after the fifth consecutive person confidently told me that they thought I would make a great teacher, I began to consider pursuing a career in education. I had been searching for a career path that I would find fulfilling and would enable me to have positive impacts on others. The more I thought about teaching, the more exciting of a prospect it became. Working with people, specifically students, and helping influence future generations were compelling aspects of teaching that resonated with me. Getting summers and holidays off sealed the deal for me. After taking a couple of education classes, I realized that it was something that I was truly passionate about and wanted to continue to pursue.

Spanish was a subject that I had studied since a young age and I had continued to study at OSU. I saw it as a meaningful way to connect with diverse groups of people, participate in more communities across the world, and a challenging yet fulfilling topic to study. I eventually decided to combine my interest in education with my long-time dedication to learning Spanish by declaring a major in Spanish and a minor in education.

I had always longed to study abroad, but the expensive nature of doing so had long prevented me from pursuing this dream. Once I began my academic career with OSU, I learned that there were scholarships available that could help me to realize my dream of becoming an international scholar. My interest in studying abroad helped me to discover the international studies program. This degree would allow me to explore the international dimensions of my Spanish degree and expand my limited worldviews, so I decided to declare a second major in international studies.

What has been your experience as a student of both the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College?

I have had very positive experiences with both the College of Liberal Arts as well as with the Honors College. The faculty and students involved with the College of Liberal Arts are an incredibly supportive community full of passionate and hardworking people. Many people associated with this college are dedicated to improving their communities and are pursuing meaningful career paths. The Honors College has provided me with a cohort of highly motivated and academically ambitious peers that share many of the same values that I have. This college has provided me with a lot of opportunities that have helped shape my undergraduate experience and helped me to prepare for my future.

Have you started your honors thesis? If yes, what’s the topic and/or focus of your research? If not, are you considering any ideas so far?

My thesis examines how racial and linguistic identities of U.S. American, Latinx students impact a study abroad experience in Barcelona, Spain. I am in the process of interviewing six friends of mine that I studied abroad with last year in Barcelona that identify as Latinx and am asking them a series of questions related to their experiences abroad- specifically about experiences they had as a result of their Latinx identities.

What have been some of your favorite classes taken?

I have taken a lot of courses that I have really enjoyed and learned a lot from. Pretty much any Spanish course that I have ever taken is at the top of my list of my favorite courses. I have also taken some HC courses that I have really enjoyed, as well as Native American Flute (MUS 105) and a rock climbing course (PAC 173).

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I intend to teach English in Latin America in order to further improve my Spanish proficiency, explore more of the world, and meet diverse peoples with different backgrounds and worldviews than myself. Following this experience, I plan to attend graduate school and pursue either a Master of Education (M.Ed.) or a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.). Upon completion of one of these degrees, I will seek employment at a high school as a Spanish teacher.

How do you feel that your experience in CLA and HC is setting you up for success?

Both the CLA and the HC have provided me with an education that has prepared me for my professional aspirations. I have learned so much from my academic involvement within these colleges over the past three (going on four) years and have been provided with countless resources and opportunities that have truly shaped my undergraduate experience.