Senior and Spanish Education student Brian Garvey, ’14 will be putting his Castleton education to work only weeks after graduation as he joins the Fulbright Colombia English Teaching Assistantship Program.
Selected as one of the few participants in the program that drew more than 180 applicants, he will be funded to teach English to Colombian university students for a full academic year.
“I love language, I love to travel, and I love teaching,” said Garvey, adding that his acceptance into the program was one of the biggest opportunities he has ever received. “Being able to serve as a cultural diplomat for the U.S. is something that’s really important to me.”
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program places recent college graduates and young professionals as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools and universities overseas. The program aims to strengthen foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States, while allowing program participants to gain from intensive cross-cultural interaction and international educational opportunities provided at the host institution.
Garvey has dedicated a majority of his college career to polishing and perfecting his Spanish speaking skills. A former President of the Spanish Club, he has worked countless hours promoting international education and study abroad opportunities on campus, presenting on the topic to multiple FYS classes and helping to lead two Castleton Study Abroad Fairs.
“Brian is an outstanding leader and contributor to our Castleton community,” said Professor and Spanish Program Coordinator Ana Alexander, who speaks highly of Garvey and his many accomplishments. “As a student he has proven to be mature, responsible, and dedicated to learning.”
In 2011 Garvey spent the year studying at the University of Salamanca in Spain, and was a recipient of the prestigious Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship given by the Department of Education.
Currently in his last semester, he recently completed student teaching in three high school Spanish classes at Rutland Senior High School.
Alexander says it is Garvey’s constant enthusiasm to learn and willingness to help others that made him the ideal candidate for his assistantship.
“He has done a wonderful job, and I only have the highest praise for him,” she said.
In addition to his Castleton accomplishments, in May of 2013, Garvey left for Buenos Aires, Argentina to volunteer in an orphanage. He spent more than thirty hours per week working with underprivileged orphans, organizing trips to the local theater, zoo, parks, and other activities based on allowing the orphans to experience activities that most parented children live.
He quickly became an advocate for underprivileged education, working one-on-one with the orphans as he focused on developing their literacy skills.
After graduation Garvey is eager to dive into his next abroad adventure in Columbia, with hopes of inspiring others to explore opportunities far beyond the U.S. borders.
“My time abroad has been the best experience of my life,” said Garvey, adding that his overseas opportunities have opened up many doors for him. “I’ve taken full advantage of every opportunity I was given.”