UO Latin American Studies Major Pursues Teaching Career in Spain

Eugene, Or- University student Rachael Fahrenbach has spent the last four years building a resumé she hopes will impress future employers abroad. She said she is “one of the lucky few” that is sure of their degree and major compatibility in the Humanities Department. Fahrenbach intends to become an English teacher in Madrid, Spain when she graduates this spring.

Previously a Psychology major, she did not always have this intention.

Last year Fahrenbach had the opportunity to travel to Chile on a study abroad program, studying at Universidad Austral in the capital city of Santiago. Throughout the six-month language intensive program she became fluent in Spanish and discovered a passion for teaching others as well.

“Constant exchange of language and culture with hundreds of other international students made me feel that teaching is something I could be passionate about forever,” Fahrenbach said of her experience in South America.

After leaving the Universidad, she continued to travel through the continent with extended stays in Bolivia and Peru.

Since returning to Eugene full of purpose and inspiration, Fahrenbach has been taking full course loads that she hopes will help land her a job overseas. She said, “It’s a lot of work. I mean a lot of work. Getting your degree, minor and 2nd language teaching certification under a time crunch is not easy.” She can often be found in the Humanities buildings on campus like Friendly and Willamette late into the night and early in the morning.

Currently, Fahrenbach is contributing to an exhibition at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art educating others on the environmental impact of industrialization in Latin America. Due to her extensive research in this area, she is able to provide information that the museum would not otherwise have.

“I feel I’m getting a jump-start on my future as an educator through this museum project. It has really been worth it despite the extra time commitment,” Fahrenbach said.

Unlike many other interviewed students within the broad department of Humanities, Rachael Fahrenbach has a plan to use what she has learned in Eugene and abroad toward a potential career and life outside the United States.

Friendly Hall, one of the many buildings on campus used by the Humanities Department and frequent study area for Rachael Fahrenbach.

A student enters Friendly Hall for a study session.
A mural provided by the Latin American Studies program featured in the EMU.
Rachael Fahrenbach while taking a break from studying for one of her classes.
One of the many texts Fahrenbach is studying for her work at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
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