Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 alumna enjoys life in Spain while working on master's degree

Many Randolph graduates travel and see the world after college. Others go straight into graduate school, and others go to work. Jennifer Bundy ’12 has the best of all three worlds.

Bundy is teaching American culture and the English language in Spain, taking weekend breaks to see sights in Europe and Africa. Meanwhile, she is working on her master’s degree through a program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

“I’ve always been intrigued by the culture in Spain, and I’ve always wanted to see it in person,” Bundy said. “It’s been incredible.”

Jennifer Bundy ’12 at the Seville Cathedral in Spain.
Tina Johnson, director of the Experiential Learning Center, helped Bundy find the Council on International Educational Exchange’s Teach Abroad program. Jim Peterson, an English professor, told her about UNO’s low-residency master of fine arts program, which allows her to attend a few in-person sessions while submitting work electronically in between. Both programs accepted her.

Shortly after she graduated, Bundy attended a 10-day retreat at a lodge in Nebraska City to take classes for the masters program. A few months later, she moved to southwestern Spain to teach English, geography, and other subjects at a middle school in Utrera. She also found a second job teaching English to adults.

Moving to Spain was Bundy’s first time outside of the United States. Fortunately, she said her experiences at Randolph prepared her for the experiences she is having. Working as a writing tutor at Randolph gave her practice in teaching English skills. The diversity of the student body helped her know how to adapt to living in another culture, and the personal responsibility of the academic curriculum and her senior honors project helped prepare her to be independent.

Jennifer Bundy ’12 enjoys teaching  English, history,  and
other subjects in a middle school in the town of Utrera.
In between teaching and writing, Bundy has traveled to numerous places in Spain, Portugal, France, and Morocco. She recently spent a weekend with Geneveive Christoff ’67 and her family in Madrid. Bundy chronicles her adventures online at While she enjoys the travel, she enjoys the cultural immersion more.

“Traveling and seeing the monuments is fantastic—these places are famous for good reason—but taking the time to connect here is my favorite part,” Bundy said. “When I’m 50, I’ll talk about the woman who works in the little panaderĂ­a (bread store) across the street from my house. Or the guy who works at my school's cafĂ© and makes me orange juice while joking with me in Spanish. All of the professors at the middle school where I work are so different and so funny.

“That’s the best part: The people.”