Victoria Vergara ‘17

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Major: Special Education/Elementary Education 1-6
Study Beyond Experience: Around the World

“At first, I was on the fence about going abroad. My mom pushed me to do it, saying I’d never get this opportunity again. She was right. This was the best experience of my life.”

In Seville, Victoria Vergara taught English to children in a Spanish Catholic school. In Paris, she learned about French architecture. And in Rome, Victoria and her friends helped boost a struggling business.

During her semester in Europe, Victoria spent six weeks in Italy, five weeks in Spain and six weeks in France, taking two college classes in each country. In her downtime, she traveled through Italy, England, and Portugal, climbed Mt. Vesuvius, celebrated at The Carnival of Venice, and, climbed the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

“This is the perfect experience for anyone who aspires to become a teacher. It completely opened my mind to new experiences and enlightening topics and conversations,” Victoria says. “It was just an incredible, amazing atmosphere in which to learn.”

Victoria says her favorite city was Rome because it “felt like home.” But she says she and her newfound friends made a vow to someday return to Seville, Spain to visit a businessman whose failing café struck a chord with her student group. “We walked there every day to buy dessert. One of our Euro banknotes is hanging on his wall. We want to go back and see how his business is doing. We learned just as much outside the classroom as we did inside it.”

After she graduates, Victoria, who is legally blind, plans to work with children who have autism or visual impairments. During the summers, she works as a counselor at Camp Helen Keller on Long Island.