UW-Whitewater’s College of Arts and Communication begins its Safer At Home Stories with one about Teagan Collis, a senior majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Dance and Spanish. Collis had always wanted to study abroad and to accomplish that she began organizing her class schedule in her sophomore year to include a semester of study abroad and still graduate in four years. Last summer she applied to study abroad in Spain.
“One day I was studying for midterms in Spain and the next I was booking a flight home. Everything happens so quickly with this virus and we must take it seriously for the well-being of those around us. My heart goes out to everyone, because everyone has been affected by this in one way or another, ” shares Tegan Collis.
She began her study abroad semester at the University of Granada in January and was taking five classes, Spanish Grammar, Oral & Writing, Latin American Civilization & Culture, (the first three courses listed were taught in Spanish) Social & Demographic Changes in Spain, and the Arab World & the West (these two were taught in English). All of her classes are continuing online through May 22 as was previously planned. She explained, “It is much harder to learn a language online than in person, especially with a seven hour time difference, but my professors are working really hard to make it work.”
Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in Spain her study abroad semester was cut short, as all study abroad students were required to return to the USA. One week prior to her departure to the USA a state of alarm was declared in Spain, which meant she was unable to leave her homestay residence. Teagan said, “It was hard spending my last week in Spain inside, but it was also nice to spend some quality time with my host family and roommate before leaving.”
During the 2 ½ months that she spent in Spain she was able to do some sightseeing which included exploring much of Granada, and seven different cities in Spain including two on the Spanish Island of Mallorca. She also visited Morocco which was her first visit to Africa.
This was Miss Collis’ last semester and thanks to the continuation of her online classes she will graduate in May. Amidst the doom and gloom of everyday news, she received some very good news since returning from Spain. She was accepted into graduate school at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA starting this fall, pursuing a master’s degree in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program for Dance/Movement Therapy.
Since returning home she has been self-isolating in her room at home with her feline companion. The time in isolation has been difficult, but worth it to keep her family from risk. She has used this time to study, prepare for her future in Cambridge, MA and to reflect on the time she spent in Spain. Collis shares, “I am definitely excited for the day when I can leave my house, but it has been fairly easy to communicate with everyone I needed to while in quarantine. A lot of friends have reached out to me after hearing what happened in Spain and to see how I’m doing. I even had one friend drop off brownies on my porch! Thankfully cell phones, social media, and Whatsapp have made it easy to stay connected with everyone, including my host family in Spain. I’m not taking any classes at UW-Whitewater right now, but I still feel connected to the campus due to university emails and updates from friends.”
For more information on UW-Whitewater College of Arts and Communication please visit us online at Facebook.com/UWWGreenhillCenter.