Colleen Fitzgerald

Modern Language Specialist

In My Words:

As a student I was fortunate to study abroad in Granada, Spain and Quito, Ecuador and this is when my love for language and travel began.

I fell in love with the old Moorish city of Granada, the Islamic architecture and the old school tapas bars, but I didn't speak much Spanish. Determined to learn, I returned home and studied in the classroom and later enrolled in a semester at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.

In Ecuador I lived with a host family where I was able to use the language I had studied in the classroom and this is when it all "clicked". Immersing myself into the language and culture of the people of Ecuador was fascinating. I ate daily meals with my family, wandered the streets and initiated conversation, went to the local markets, talked to the street vendors and their children and made a real effort to make connections. Because of this effort I was welcomed into people’s homes, I learned their unique traditions, and made life-long friendships.

I encourage everyone to travel and learn a language as it opens doors and changes your view of the world!