This December I had the pleasure and honor of being invited to attend the 2nd annual Franklin Alumni Meeting as a visiting alumna of the Instituto Franklin-UAH. Initially I wasn’t sure what to expect from the meeting, but I was excited about the opportunity to visit my alma mater, see what had changed, and connect with current and former students of the Teach & Learn program.
Arriving to Alcalá de Henares felt like arriving home and brought back many fond memories of my time as a student there. The staff at Instituto Franklin-UAH were incredibly welcoming from the beginning, ensuring that all my personal and professional needs were accommodated during the visit- from provided meals, to a designated computer to work from within the Instituto Franklin-UAH.
The week’s itinerary included a mix of events, meetings, and casual networking which gave myself and the other Visiting Alumni, Patrick Baker and Amy Miller, the opportunity to learn about initiatives that the Instituto Franklin-UAH Study Abroad program and Teach & Learn program are putting into effect, and to provide our insights as International Education professionals currently working in the United States. The itinerary also included lots of time to speak with current Teach & Learn students about our individual careers and to answer questions specific to the students’ interests and ambitions.
After the meetings and through the conversations that took place with Instituto Franklin-UAH staff and Teach & Learn students, I left with two major takeaways from the week. First, I realized more profoundly the time, consideration, and effort that the Instituto Franklin-UAH staff puts into ensuring that the Teach & Learn Masters programs are high quality, academically relevant, and prepare students to be competent professionals in the fields of bilingual and international education. My second major takeaway was that the Instituto Franklin-UAH takes great pride in their students and is invested in their success. This is evident not only by the existence of the Annual Alumni Meeting and the Visiting Alumni program, but by the Instituto’s increasing emphasis and effort in developing a comprehensive Teach & Learn alumni network.
In the few years since I graduated from the Masters in International Education Teach & Learn program, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experience at the Instituto Franklin-UAH and develop a better understanding of the value and practical experience the program provided me with. Having the opportunity to return to the Instituto Franklin-UAH for the 2nd Franklin Alumni Meeting, and to see from a different perspective the initiatives and progress that have been made since I graduated, left me feeling more proud and confident than ever that the Teach & Learn program will continue to grow and develop, along with its alumni.