August 3, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Graduate Plans to Spend Year Teaching English in Spain

VALDOSTA — Tara Brown, a 21-year-old Hiram native, will soon call Spain home, at least for a little while.

The recent Valdosta State University graduate — Brown earned a Bachelor of Science in sociology, with a minor in African American studies, in July — plans to spend 10 months living with a host family and working as a conversation assistant at a primary school in Barcelona.

“I start at the end of September,” said the daughter of Will and Brenda Brown. “I will be working alongside an actual teacher in the classroom, shadowing him or her and helping him or her execute lesson plans and activities that will increase the children’s fluency in English.”

Brown will return to the United States in June to continue her education in a graduate program, pursuing a master’s degree in higher education leadership.

“At first I did not know exactly how I would spend my year off after graduation, but after much thought, I knew that I wanted to find something where I could incorporate my love for traveling into my career,” she said.

While attending VSU, Brown participated in study abroad opportunities in Marrakech, Morocco; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; York, England; and London, England. Her father took her on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, when she graduated from high school.

Brown applied for the conversation assistant position in February, while studying abroad in London, England, and was interviewed via Skype. She received the good news in March.

“I am extremely excited about living and working in Spain,” she said. “In April, a friend and I vacationed in Madrid during the Easter holiday for a few days. Being there made me even more excited about moving there in September. And I speak Spanish fluently, so that also helps. I’m excited about the cultural exchange of learning more Spanish as I teach English.”

As a VSU student, Brown served as secretary of Young Democrats and Sigma Alpha Pi (the National Society of Leadership and Success). She also volunteered with the Ruby R. Sullivan Literacy Center’s Blazing Through Books Program, which pairs university students and community children in one-on-one and small group literacy skill-building activities, such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

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