ChattState’s Study Abroad Program Leads to Master’s Program in Spain

May 26, 2021 | Betty A. Proctor | Internal Press Release

olivia avans with gad cap in spain

Olivia Avans graduated from Chattanooga State Community College in 2019 with her associate degree in Foreign Language, one of six Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTP) designed to help community college students plan for transferring to a Tennessee public university to complete their baccalaureate degree. She capstoned her academic experience by participating in the Spain study abroad program at Chattanooga State, that led to her acceptance into a master’s program at the Universidad de Alcalá. Established in 1499, the Universidad de Acalá is a public university with a rich tradition in the humanities and one of the most prestigious colleges in Spain serving more than 25,000 students.

“The experience studying abroad in Spain boosted her language skills, and her love of the language and the culture to the point that it enabled her to move on to UTC, and obtain a bachelor’s degree in Spanish,” states Juan Alonso, interim director of Global Scholars and associate professor of Spanish.

Ms. Avans credits Chattanooga State and its Study Abroad program in making the difference in her selection to UTC and Universidad de Alcalá. “I met people pursuing similar pathways who inspired me to double major in Spanish and International Studies,” stated Olivia.

While staying with her host family in Cáceres, Spain, Olivia experienced the daily lifestyle, which also made a huge impact on her decision to apply to a university in Spain. In a recently awarded position, Olivia will be a teaching assistant to an English teacher in a public elementary school in Madrid. “After completing my masters in Bilingual and Multicultural Education, I plan on obtaining a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) to teach English abroad, and hope to one day teach in the Peace Corps,” shared Ms. Avans.

“Olivia’s experience obtaining an associate degree at ChattState, including her study abroad opportunity, enabled her to discover her passion and successfully achieve her academic and professional goals,” said Mr. Alonso.

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