From the familiar surroundings of New Hampshire to a small schoolroom in a remote Spanish town, Plymouth State University senior Heather Dowd is having the experience of a lifetime.
Dowd was chosen from hundreds of applicants for a prestigious Language and Culture assistant teaching position by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Sciences. Dowd, a double major in Spanish and Communication Studies, began her teaching experience in October 2006 in Bailen, an Andalucien town. Dowd has been teaching at a secondary school called Hermanos Medina Rivilla.
“It is a chance to complete my degree in a place that I love, doing something that I love,” said Dowd. “I get to teach English and also share aspects of American culture.”
PSU’s Associate Professor Barbara Lopez-Mayhew, chair of the Department of Languages and Linguistics, believes Dowd is embarking on a unique journey.
“To be given the opportunity to be immersed in another culture, not only as a student but as a professional, reaffirms that we are providing our students valuable knowledge and a strong development of language skills in our courses as well as through study abroad programs,” Lopez-Mayhew said. “Undoubtedly, Heather’s year in Spain as a teaching assistant will be a valuable and unforgettable capstone experience.”
Dowd credits PSU and the Plymouth school system with preparing and recommending her for the assignment. She spent a semester in Seville, Spain at the CC-CS Study Abroad program, and also taught Spanish in Plymouth area elementary schools.—Bruce Lyndes
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