November 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

Undecided, She Found Passion for Language and Culture

Laura Gilbert , outdoors portrait

Laura Gilbert

Laura Gilbert, originally from Centerville, OH, is about to finish a double major in Spanish and Linguistics, with an additional certificate in Latin American Studies. Though she has thoroughly enjoyed her educational journey at Ohio University, Gilbert is excited to see what the future holds.

“I applied to Ohio University undecided, and I found within a couple semesters that my interest in language and culture became increasingly present,” Gilbert recalls. She notes that her newly discovered passions were fostered by supportive and attentive faculty who motivated her to pursue those intercultural interests.

“My interactions with faculty have formed me into a life-long learner, and greatly contributed to my college experience,” she says.

Gilbert has accomplished a great deal in her time at OHIO. These accomplishments include a semester spent in Cuenca, Ecuador, service learning with the Foreign Languages in Elementary Schools program at local Athens elementary schools, and participation in the Ohio Fellows Scholars program, through which she learned about leadership systems and place-based learning at the Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Reflecting on her time spent at OHIO, Gilbert says that she has gained a greater awareness of the world by immersing herself in the diverse international setting on campus. She recommends that prospective College of Arts & Sciences students get involved with Global Conversation Partners, or attend International Student Union events.

“My favorite experience at Ohio University has been working as a Peer Advisor for International Student Orientation. I made new friends, interacted with a diverse workforce, and learned that I work best in teams and when I am helping others,” Gilbert notes.

Additional experiences that Gilbert feels have been beneficial in her time at OHIO include working as an English pronunciation tutor for the Ohio Program of Intensive English, as a Spanish language programs assistant at the Kennedy Museum of Art, and an English as a Foreign Language instructor for her Linguistics teaching practicum.

Gilbert will spend her very last spring break on another study abroad program, learning about Roman history in Rome, Italy. While there, she hopes to deepen her knowledge of Roman history while making connections with contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone cultures – an interest sparked during a Spanish Civilization and Culture class. After graduation, Gilbert plans to teach English as a second language in a Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking country. She is also considering the Fulbright program and – overall – wants to keep her global perspective in focus.

“In my career, I hope to strengthen the support system for international students in the U.S. and promote communities of diverse learners.”

Editor’s Note: Every College of Arts & Sciences student has accomplishments worth bragging about, and we want to help you do just that! Each week we will feature a profile on an A&S student who is doing great things. If you would like to share the accomplishments of yourself, your friends, your students, or your colleagues, please contact Tetyana Dovbnya.

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