Since I was an undergraduate, I’ve been fascinated by the philosophies, politics, and practices of teaching a second language (in my case, French) to students who have language-based learning disabilities/difficulties in their first language (in this case, English). This interest followed me through graduate school, into the classroom when I taught at the high school level, and now in my work as a professor in teacher education. Because my interest in this area has mixed the languages of French and English, Canada has always been my preferred context exploring this question from a research standpoint and when trying to expand best practices in this particular field. My strong connection to this work was deepened through my recent experience as a Fulbright Scholar and has led to new opportunities to make this connection deeper still.
The world is a big place, so why not get out then and explore it? At the end of high school, many people told me to take time off before University to travel and explore the world, because there wouldn’t be another time when I would be able to just get up and go. At the end of my undergraduate courses, people said the same thing. I should take time off and travel before graduate school, because there wouldn’t be another time when I would be able to just get up and go. As it turns out, life is complicated, and there may be many ways to create opportunities to travel. International education is the closest thing to a perfect method to travel in a meaningful way.