by Therese Eley, Marketing Services
“Will this be on the test?”
A question that Rosa Stewart admits she is quite used to hearing from her undergrad students in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at UVic.
“But my Continuing Studies students are different,” she explains. “They challenge me in a way that’s different from my regular students. They will ask me ‘Why? How? When?’ They sometimes ask such profound questions that I can’t answer them, so that makes me have to learn more, it makes me have to continue my search.”
It’s this attitude of “learning for learning’s sake” that continues to draw Rosa to teaching with Continuing Studies, even after nearly 30 years.
“It’s a different challenge… they’re fun! They come from so many backgrounds and their desire to learn about a new culture [is what] brings us all together. They want to go deeper into the culture of the places that we visit, and I just find that incredibly rewarding.”
Although Rosa began with Continuing Studies as a Spanish language teacher, she now leads several of our educational travel tours, including the upcoming tour to Spain and Portugal this April.
“I love to travel! And I have a great time with the mature students who usually join me on these tours. These folks want to continue having enriching experiences and learning about other cultures and I find that really fascinating.”
Rosa’s own passion for travel and all things Spanish, were ignited during her junior year abroad as an undergrad student in university.
“I chose to study for two terms in Spain–which was definitely THE moment that has impacted everything I’ve done since. It’s why I decided to teach Spanish and it’s why I’m still fascinated by travel and about learning about other cultures and other people and meeting people.”
But for Rosa, the best part of her travels is coming home, especially when her family are able to all get together. “The most important thing is being with my family. I have four children, not all of them live in Victoria anymore, but when they come to Victoria, my number one priority is being mum.”
While she is always looking forward to her next trip, she is also pursuing adventures of a more culinary variety here at home. “I love to cook and I’m always trying new world foods. I’ve recently started trying to cook Indian food and also Thai.”
In fact, that is her single biggest piece of advice to people when traveling: “Taste it! [One can miss] out on such a huge side of the culture by not tasting everything. Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid. Taste it! Embrace it!”
Good word to live by, in life and in travel.
This article was first published in the Spring 2017 Calendar.