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My name is Bailey and I am a senior here at EIU, and I have been peer advising in the office since January 2018. My passion for study abroad began when I was able to spend last summer studying Spanish language and culture in Salamanca, Spain. I had studied Spanish since beginning high school, but this was the first time I was truly immersed in the language and needed to use what I had learned to meet people and improve my speaking skills. I strongly believe that every student should travel during college to learn about cultures and worldviews that are different than theirs, and that study abroad can be applicable to any major!
As soon as I returned from Spain, I knew that I wanted to go abroad before graduation. In June and July of this year I was able to volunteer as an English teacher in Ecuador while living and taking classes in the city of Cuenca. This experience was imperative in my aim to become fully proficient in Spanish, and I also had the opportunity to spend a couple weeks exploring the capital city of Quito and the Galapagos Islands before returning home. I very much hope to return and travel more of South America someday.
During my years at Eastern, I have been involved in several organizations and activities that promote global awareness and diversity on and off campus. I have tutored and been a coordinator for Amigos & Friends (an ESL program) at the Newman center, and also led a spring break service trip to San Miguel, Mexico. On campus, I have been a president of Sigma Delta Pi, the Hispanic honorary society and currently serve on our national student board. In addition to Spanish, I am also studying psychology and biology at EIU and plan to continue to graduate school to become a genetic counselor.