Internship in Ecuador Deepens Love for Education, Spanish Language, and Other Cultures

Haleigh Slack, a UW-Madison senior who is double majoring in elementary and special education, interned as an English-as-a-foreign-language teacher and administrative assistant at Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano in Guayaquil, Ecuador during the summer of 2019.

Slack taught and tutored adult students, served as a native English speaker for her organization, and helped revise some curriculum.

Slack in Ecuador
Haleigh Slack, a UW-Madison senior who is double majoring in elementary and special education, spent the summer of 2019 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

“While at times my responsibilities challenged me, I truly grew as a future educator and as a professional,” says Slack.

Slack spent her weekends exploring different parts of Ecuador. She deepened her knowledge of Ecuadorian culture by living with a host family and spending time with coworkers, students, and other interns. Her internship in Ecuador not only gave her teaching experience, it helped her become a “culturally competent citizen of our world.”

Slack recognizes that many students might not think an international internship is accessible to them.

“For School of Education students, I know it can sometimes be difficult to go abroad with many professional programs with specific coursework, but the International Internship Program (IIP) Office was exactly what I needed,” says Slack. “I was able to go over the summer. I received a grant from IIP and a stipend every month from my organization and lived with a host family. Living in Ecuador for two months was completely doable.”

“Haleigh Slack is a wonderful example of a student who utilized the incredible resources that UW-Madison offers to students in pursuing international internships,” says Kate McCleary, associate director of the School of Education’s Global Engagement Office.  “She took the time to research how to pursue an international and intercultural experience, and now has incredible stories to share from her teaching experience in Ecuador and to include on her resume.”

Slack’s time in Ecuador deepened her love for education, the Spanish language, and learning about other cultures. She shared that interning in Ecuador, “Opened up my eyes to other opportunities to teach abroad after graduation and instilled a passion in me to learn and grow in cultures different from my own.”

View the original article from the School of Education here

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