Spanish Major’s MSU Education Enhanced by Citizen Scholars Program

Citizen Scholar Carla Simone is preparing to graduate this spring with a B.A. in Spanish and a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). One of the highlights of her MSU education was a study abroad trip to Valencia, Spain, where she lived with a host family and took four Spanish classes. That trip was made possible through the Citizen Scholars funding. 

“Citizen Scholars has enhanced my education at MSU by allowing me to gain knowledge outside of the classroom that is not covered by the material I am learning in my classes,” Simone said. “The most impactful part of the program for me has been being able to use the funding to improve my Spanish speaking skills.”

Carla Simone

Simone also had an international internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she taught English at a private bilingual school for two months and worked one-on-one with students in first through seventh grade.

“This internship reaffirmed my decision of wanting to teach children and young adults and how important language education is,” Simone said. “My advice for students is to get hands-on experience outside the classroom with careers or opportunities that relate to your major, because those experiences give you a glimpse of what that career is like day to day and determines if you could see yourself doing that career.” 

The Citizen Scholars program will help me in my career working with students because this program really focused on individual growth and how to be an active citizen in your community, and that is something that I want to share with students and allow them to explore.

Carla Simone

During her time at MSU, Simone was involved with MSU Circle K International, the world’s largest student-led collegiate service organization, for which she held positions of Treasurer and Michigan District Bulletin Editor, and she volunteered with the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) with Spanish for Preschoolers, Spanish for Pre-Teens/Teens, and a Spanish after-school program at Horizon Elementary School in Holt, Michigan. During her first two years at MSU, she was involved with ASMSU (Associated Students of Michigan State University) as a member of the class councils and as a General Assembly Representative for the College of Arts & Letters. 

After graduation, Simone plans to complete a year-long student teaching internship with Utica Community Schools at Eisenhower High School and take graduate courses through MSU’s Teacher Certification program. 

“The Citizen Scholars program will help me in my career working with students because this program really focused on individual growth and how to be an active citizen in your community, and that is something that I want to share with students and allow them to explore,” Simone said. “I want to say thank you to MSU for an amazing four years where I had experiences and made memories I will forever be grateful for.”