Spanish, Study Abroad and Cultural Curiosity Lead Maliah Jobe ’22 to Fulbright Award
Maliah Jobe ‘22 of Hillsboro, Ore., always knew she wanted to be an educator. She thought about teaching history, that is until she started studying and majored in Spanish at Pacific University.
“I fell in love with the language learning and decided I wanted to share that with the world,” she said.
“Having the introduction to Spanish made me realize how powerful language learning is and that I could go a lot of cool places and teach.”
While international travel seemed beyond Jobe's reach, a Pacific study abroad trip to Spain spring semester 2022 completely changed her life. While it was challenging to communicate in another language and learn about a new country and its customs, she said the five-month trip gave her inspiration.
“I just fell in love with the experience. So now I'm planning on teaching English and traveling the world. And a lot of it is thanks to Pacific’s Spanish program,” she said.
She also credits her success to Pacific University professors Jann Purdy, Mike Miller, Nancy Christoph and Lorely French as well as the financial support she received from the Harvey W. Scott and Judith Scott Walter Scholarship Fund.
Now she’s spending the 2023-2024 academic year in South America as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) at the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (UPTC) in Tunja, Colombia, three hours northeast of Bogotá in the Andes mountains. The goal of her assignment at the public university is to encourage students to pursue the study of English through exposure to another culture.
“Congratulations to Maliah, for a well-deserved award that proves her talents, knowledge, and dedication as a scholar and educator,” said Professor Lorely French, International Studies.
Before that job kicks off, though, Jobe spent a part of summer 2023 in Peru, where she earned a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate through the Maximo Nivel Nicholas Epstein Memorial Scholarship. The trip to South America also immersed her in another Spanish-speaking culture. One observation that struck her was the number of dogs roaming the streets. It turns out that people don’t keep their pets indoors like in the U.S. And then there was the public transportation.
“I had to take the bus to class every day. And to get off the bus, you literally have to like yell, let me off, baja, baja. And if you don't, they just keep going,” she said.
During her free time, Jobe also visited Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas,” and hiked part of the Inca Trail near the southeastern Peruvian city of Cusco. She also witnessed a festive local celebration, Inti Raymi, where people dressed in traditional indigenous clothing like the Inca king and queen, and performed traditional music and dances.
No doubt Jobe will have similar experiences to share about her adventures in Colombia over the next year.