Laidine Teixeira Barbosa is a lot of things: a senior, a first-generation student, and an English and Spanish double major with Letters of Specialization in American Studies, Literature as History, and Social Justice.  

She also studied abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain last summer, thanks in part to the HFA Study Abroad Scholarship.  

The opportunity to study abroad opened opportunities for language speaking and practicing mutual understanding through academic and social settings. One of the highlights of Barbosa’s time abroad was a solo weekend trip to Barcelona.  

“I'm still always in awe of myself when I tell people I did this,” Barbosa said. “It was an amazing and transformative self-growth experience where I tested my boundaries and learned new things about myself. I also learned that when you're alone, you may be more likely to strike up conversations and connect with locals and other travelers. Thanks to my time at UMass, I was able to do this all in Spanish confidently and made so many friends from all over the world.” 

After graduating in May, Barbosa plans to complete a teaching residency program in Boston. This involves a one-year-long graduate and teaching assistantship in Boston Public Schools, where she will get to work with a diverse community of children. 

"I carry a responsibility to prioritize inclusivity, especially in a career such as education,” Barbosa said. “Being abroad and exploring new cultures around the world has shaped me into an individual who brings cultural acceptance, awareness, and knowledge into every classroom I step into.”

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