Ellis Translates Study Abroad to International Career
Jennifer Ellis ’14 teaches at the Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona. She has traveled the world and followed her dreams to teach internationally, sparked by a study abroad trip while at TCU. She earned her B.S. in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Spanish, and it was on a trip to Salamanca, Spain, where she said she realized she might be able to teach and travel for her career. That was her first trip to Europe, and she returned abroad to student teach in Copenhagen her senior year.
Ellis knew that jobs at international schools are very competitive, so she completed a government program teaching English in Spain after graduating from TCU to earn more international teaching experience.
“I found a way to make it happen and push myself to get there,” she said. “Whatever you want to do and dream or goal you have in mind you can make it happen, even if you don’t have the perfect job right out of college.”
Ellis teaches fifth grade math, reading, writing and social studies at her small private school for early childhood through 12th grade. All students take Spanish and Catalan classes in addition to their core classes instructed in English. She said teaching she was well prepared at TCU, and teaching internationally has taken her out of her comfort zone and helped her grow as an educator.
New educators should be ready to adapt to a challenging and rewarding career she said, whether they teach in Texas or around the world.
“Teachers can be perfectionists, but not everything’s going to be perfect and in teaching there’s always work to do,” she said. “The ultimate goal is to make an impact in students’ lives.”