Christa Bixby, M.A. ’14

Profession: English Language Fellow, funded by the U.S. Department of State

Location: Penang, Malaysia

Worked in or travelled professionally to: Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand

TESOL opens a world of opportunity, and it is a career path that I am thankful to have taken every single day, especially as I stare out at the beautiful ocean on the island that is now my home.

What drew you to English language teaching?

I am drawn into the depth of relationship you are able to have with the students in your classes. I am drawn to their willingness to learn and to the amount I am able to grow through knowing them and walking through this process with them. I believe it takes a lot of strength and courage to be vulnerable enough to learn a language, and I see my students as inspirations. I obviously enjoy those relationships with them, and enjoy diving into the English language to understand and explain how it works.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

I enjoy the element of empowerment that comes from giving individuals the ability to converse with those outside their immediate circles, try for a job they were nervous about before, or simply confidently approach me knowing they are making themselves clear and understood. Currently, with the position I hold, I enjoy the element of challenge as I venture into various avenues in this field to chair conferences, conduct teacher trainings, provide workshops for Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, and more.

What have your professional travel experiences been like after receiving you after you received your TESOL master’s?

The experiences are wide and varied, but each one left me with a better understanding of a collectivist culture that I treasure. Each challenged me in various aspects and each helped me to grow and learn more about myself and the world around me. I am constantly grateful to have the insight I do into the variety of cultures I have been able to experience. I believe it is essential to becoming a person of global perspective, one who is truly able to respect those I come into contact with.

Note: This information is current for the 2020-21 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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