Foreign Language Teacher Encourages Students to Go Outside the Box


Madison Pedersen, Student of Journalism

Erin Nienas, or Profe as most of her students call her, encourages her students to open up their viewpoints on the world. She recommends studying abroad to her students and taking every opportunity to better immerse themselves in the language.

Nienas spends time studying abroad in college. The Spanish education course requires time abroad. Nienas has never been far from home for so long — it feels like an eternity. Studying abroad in Spain offers a whole new world of experiences for her; she, however, is ready to experience every single one.

Nienas adapts and learns how the new culture works. Staying with a Señora in a larger city in Spain offers new experiences. Nienas travels 45 minutes by metro to get to school each day; something she is not used to doing. Erin stays in a part of Spain where many different cultures collide. She also secures an internship that allows her to communicate with people from different countries. Working with people from France and Italy allows Erin to not only learn about the culture in Spain, but also the culture from the other people with whom she works. 

Looking closer at the expereince, Nienas thinks about how going to Spain with people she knows and how it changes her experience of being immersed in the culture. If she is doing one thing differently, it is studying abroad on her own.

“There are limitations when you aren’t pushing yourself to go outside the box.

She encourages all students to study abroad even if they are not taking a foreign language. She encourages her students to push themselves and expand their viewpoint. She encourages open thoughts and meaningful discussions.

Nienas pushes students to remove all limits, experience as much as they can and go outside the box.