Learning Lessons Abroad
UST alumnus John Falco ’04 has been accepted by La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain and will study this summer in a prestigious graduate program specifically geared for Spanish teachers.
The Universidad is one of the oldest universities in Europe . “I will immerse myself in the culture of Spain, especially in the region of Extremadura (western Spain ),” Falco said. “This is the best way for me to experience what I’ve always had a passion for: learning, teaching and the Spanish language.”
Falco admits that his own initial attempts in high school to learn the language proved to be challenge. “I was not very good in Spanish in my first year of high school. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that everything just clicked, and soon I began to grasp the language well,” he said.
Falco found teaching Spanish his calling after he graduated from UST where he received a joint major in Spanish and secondary education. “I’m currently teaching Spanish at Carnegie Vanguard High School , Houston ’s only gifted and talented high school in HISD,” said Falco.
Falco credits UST for giving him the confidence to teach. “John was an extraordinary student who was so talented that he began to teach at Houston High School for the Performing Arts before he graduated,” said Dr. Debra Andrist, professor of Spanish and chair of the MACL Department.
“UST has strengthened my faith in God and my professors gave me the knowledge to function as a well-rounded productive citizen in diverse community,” said Falco.
Falco will spend the summer in Spain , where he will walk in the footsteps of his literary idols Miguel de Cervantes, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and Miguel de Unamun, learning from them and passing on their wisdom to his students back home.