Amelia King: Committing to Serve
“It was very fulfilling to meet a great need in my own city because of the language and culture skills I acquired at Transylvania.”
Unlike many students, Amelia King ’11 knew that her Transylvania home would be with the Spanish program from the first day she stepped on campus as a visiting high school student. The professors’ passion for the students and for the material was palpable. And that sense of sincere engagement remained real through her senior seminar.
“Working closely with accomplished professors and passionate peers—in small classes, during office hour meetings, and even at dinner parties in professors’ homes—allowed me to grow in my knowledge of and love for the Spanish language and Spanish and Latin American history and culture. I learned more—and had more fun—through Transylvania’s Spanish program than I had ever anticipated.”
King didn’t restrict her learning to campus classrooms. She volunteered as an interpreter at the Salvation Army, where over two-thirds of the people served are Hispanic and many speak only Spanish. She offered tutoring in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. And for two summers she lived in the desert village of Bella Unión in Peru working among its residents. “Because of my education at Transylvania, I was well-prepared to handle the language (serving as my team’s interpreter) as well as the culture.”
The time King spent in South America left an indelible impression that may alter the course of her future. King and her husband, whom she met while she was in Peru, are “working toward returning to South America long-term.”
King also appreciated the variety of courses outside the Spanish curriculum she was encouraged to take, including classes in education, history, and music. “Transylvania’s liberal arts foundation promoted connection between my Spanish studies and other classes.
“For me, Transylvania was the perfect combination of the personal relationships and academic rigor of a small liberal arts college, with the academic and social opportunities that come with life in a big town. I found people and classes that I enjoyed and that challenged me to grow—not only as a student, but as a person.”