Shelby Ledger at Machu Picchu in Peru during her volunteer abroad trip.
Shelby Ledger is pursuing a dual baccalaureate degree in
K-12 Spanish Education and Spanish, with minors in
Latin American Studies – a daunting task in itself. Yet, with the advisement and encouragement of her professors, she was able to study abroad...twice.
“While I have been fortunate enough to have had many supportive professors at IUP, the
Foreign Languages Department has been especially helpful in helping me to reach my goals. Moreover, the department, particularly professor Glisan, supported my decision to travel to both Costa Rica and Peru. I will forever be grateful for the guidance
and inspiring words of all faculty members of the department,” said Ledger.
In 2012, Ledger went to Costa Rica through an IUP program to fulfill a requirement for her Spanish major. In Costa Rica, she was able to take classes at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, explore the country with classmates and professor Jason Killam,
and spend time with her host family. Her second experience abroad, in 2014, was a program through a volunteer organization that allowed her to teach English and math to impoverished children of various ages in Peru.
“I would advise any student to make the most of their time here, to take as many classes as possible and try different majors and different minors, and travel because it opens avenues for the future,” said Ledger. “Studying abroad also helps you grow
as an individual. You gain a lot of confidence because you’re communicating with people you don’t know, and it helps you mature.”
Ledger chose to pursue a degree in Spanish Education to share her love of learning languages, and soon determined IUP would be the perfect place to do so.
“I will admit that the cost of
IUP’s tuition was a deciding factor in my choice of college, but the popularity of the Foreign Languages Department was influential as well. The BS in Spanish Education at IUP has been nationally recognized twice by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education as an exemplary program, and the Spanish Education majors have somewhere near a 100 percent career placement rate,” said Ledger.
—Ailey Clark, student employee, IUP Communications and Marketing