Student Wins Award to Teach in Spain - SUNY Cortland

Meningitis Antibiotics

Students attending off campus parties last week may have been exposed to meningitis. Antibiotics are available at Corey Union from noon to 5 p.m. today.
Learn more about the possible meningitis exposure.

Visit the Emergency site for more information.

Student Wins Award to Teach in Spain

 Student Wins Award to Teach in Spain

04/15/2014 

SUNY Cortland senior Katie Smook remembers what it’s like to start out learning a new language. She’ll take those memories to Spain this summer after winning a Teach Abroad Award from the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).

Smook, a dual major studying Spanish and psychology, will teach part-time in Madrid for a full year starting in early September. The Wantagh, N.Y., native will work as a teaching assistant, going into classrooms to help both students and teachers learn and improve their English-speaking skills.

The prestigious award from the CIEE includes compensation for living expenses.

Smook’s initial career path, however, never involved teaching, she said. She originally planned to become a school counselor but something pulled her in a different direction. As a student who excelled upper-level Spanish courses, she saw the expected frustrations other students faced as they attempted to pick up a new language.

Smook remembered encountering those same difficulties herself.

“I realized that if I could help a student facing the same challenge of mastering a new language, I would be helping them acquire a skill they will use for the rest of their lives,” she said.

Smook traveled to Barcelona in the fall of 2012 through SUNY Oswego’s study abroad program and became immersed in the culture. She’s had a strong desire to return to Spain ever since, figuring her first months after graduation in May would be an ideal time to make the move.

Despite being well versed in the Spanish language, Smook says her biggest challenge abroad will be assuming the role of a teacher. She hasn’t yet received formal training as a classroom teacher.

“This is completely new for me, so I think it will be challenging, at least in the beginning,” said Smook, who suggested she might be teaching some students English for the first time.

Still, if that challenge comes, she’s ready to face it head on — even in a new country.

Smook has worked with the International Programs and Admissions offices at SUNY Cortland while also participating in the Psychology Club, the Youth Assist Program and Sigma Delta Tau sorority at the College.

Graduate school might be in her plans when she returns from Spain in 2015, she said.

“Maybe I'll decide I want to be a teacher instead of a school counselor, or maybe I'll decide to stay in Spain,” she said. “I am excited to see where this experience takes me.”

For more information about the Teach Abroad Award, visit the CIEE website.


More News

Notice Concerning Possible Meningitis Exposure

Notice Concerning Possible Meningitis Exposure

Free antibiotics will be dispensed from noon to 5 p.m. today in the Corey Union Function Room for students who may have been exposed to bacterial meningitis


Bistro Flavor Station Shakes Up Student Meals

Bistro Flavor Station Shakes Up Student Meals

From Jamaican Jerk to Montreal Seasoning, the new Flavor Station has it all.


SEFA Campaign Organizers Share Results

SEFA Campaign Organizers Share Results

The campus community generously gave more than $40,000 to charities for 2016-17.


Political Scientist to Deconstruct Middle East

Political Scientist to Deconstruct Middle East

Mehrzad Boroujerdi's talk March 8 continues the year's Brooks lecture series.


Active Minds Club Focuses on Mental Wellness

Active Minds Club Focuses on Mental Wellness

The Active Minds club wants others to view mental health more like body health.


You Studied What? From Hip Hop to Harry Potter

You Studied What? From Hip Hop to Harry Potter

These 12 classes boast interesting titles and even more impressive outcomes.


College Renews Employee Homeownership Incentive

College Renews Employee Homeownership Incentive

Employees can earn $4,000 to put towards a new home if they choose to live near campus.


A Champion Wrestler Finally Gets His Ring

A Champion Wrestler Finally Gets His Ring

Troy Monks '90, an NCAA national title winner, receives his ring in a surprise ceremony 27 years later.


Cortland Fund Plans 24-Hour Fundraising Marathon

Cortland Fund Plans 24-Hour Fundraising Marathon

The 321 Champions Challenge focuses on participation, not the size of a gift.


'Crazy For You' Continues for Second Weekend Performances

'Crazy For You' Continues for Second Weekend Performances

“Crazy For You” continues for a second weekend with performances Feb. 24 through Feb. 26.


Explore

Visit

Contact