Beth Stevens: Spanish, International Studies major and TESOL minor
May 1, 2013
A Spanish and International Studies major with a TESOL minor, Beth Stevens certainly know how to keep herself busy. Thus far, Beth sums up her college experience as working hard academically, spending time with friends and working in two campus offices. She also enjoys serving on her floor council and being a part of the French and International Clubs. She plans to study abroad in Spain this summer at the University of Salamanca. Her special passion and ability to learn and understand foreign languages, she believes, comes from God. Although she is not sure what, specifically, God has called her to do in the future, she does know that she has been called to work with foreign cultures and use her language abilities.
How did you hear about Evangel?
I grew up in the Assemblies of God and attended church camps and conventions ever since I was old enough. I think that the first time I heard about Evangel was at a summer camp in Crestwood, Kentucky. If I’m not mistaken, I was in middle school at the time.
What made you decide that Evangel was the school for you?
I must first admit that for a while I had had my heart set on attending CBC. As I became aware of more colleges affiliated with the Assemblies of God, however, I decided that I would attend Southwestern University. There were so many options to consider! It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I knew beyond a doubt that Evangel was where I wanted to be; I think that the Spanish and TESOL programs were what finally convinced me.
How did you decide on your area of study?
As much as I’m reluctant to admit it, I’m becoming more like my mother as I grow older. She’s a Spanish professor, and at some point in my childhood she influenced me to have a passion for Spanish as well. Since I’ve recognized this, I’ve also pursued learning French and even a bit of Portuguese. To summarize what could otherwise be quite a long story, I have a passion for languages and cultures. Deciding to study Spanish and French was easy—it’s what I was made to do.
What are the perks of attending a smaller campus?
Attending a smaller university means recognizing most of the faces you see each day. It means not walking a mile in the bitter cold, if it happens to be cold, to get to your next class or your next meal —something for which I am particularly grateful. Most importantly, it means that your professors remember your name and know how to help you personally. Most professors here are very good at developing meaningful and helpful relationships with students.
What do you like the most about the Humanities Department?
I love the Humanities Department most for its professors. These professors are brilliant. The vastness of their knowledge impresses me so often and causes me to be a proud student; there is so much to learn from them and so much knowledge to absorb. Besides being knowledgeable, the professors are warm-hearted. The passions they have pertaining to their respective fields become contagious if you spend too much time with any one of them. I’m sure the other departments have their fair share of such professors, but I’m particularly proud of those in the Humanities.
How do you like Evangel’s TESOL program?
I love the TESOL program at Evangel because it’s simple and practical. If you plan to do anything in a foreign country, ministry, teaching, business, etc., TESOL is an option that I would highly recommend. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t require an overwhelming number of classes, but it covers the experience, theories, and practices you would need to teach abroad. From what I know, with simply a minor or a certificate, only 14 credit hours, you will be highly desirable to schools and programs around the world. Also, Professor Morrison is highly knowledgeable in this area and is very helpful to anyone interested in pursuing the program.
What is like living so far away from home?
My family currently lives near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is over 700 miles away from Evangel – this has both its joys and its difficulties. My first semester was easiest as my studies and my friends kept me perpetually distracted from homesickness. As a freshman I felt free to make the most of my quasi-adult life and to enjoy being with friends. My sophomore year, however, brought with it more of a seriousness that caused me to pause and reevaluate my values. I often miss my family, but I’m content to know that they’re proud of me, and I try to call either my mom or my dad whenever I get the chance. God has blessed me immensely in enabling me to come to Evangel. Adequate financial aid was available, and the only real difficulty I had was in leaving my home behind me. Since coming to Evangel, I’ve been blessed academically and financially; I have two jobs on campus for which I am very thankful. In the end, I believe living this far from home is definitely worth it.
How do you feel about campus life?
For introverts like me, living on campus is crucial to forming friendships. I’ve enjoyed living on campus and finding my place in Burgess Hall, and I’ve learned a few lessons about living with a roommate. It’s definitely been a beneficial experience, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know the ladies I live with.
What are your plans for the future?
After graduating from Evangel, I plan to earn my PhD. Ideally I would like to do this at a foreign university; perhaps I will return to study in Spain or even France. Once I’ve done this, I want to spend time teaching English as a foreign language in a foreign country—anywhere at all. Dr. Oyola has been putting these sorts of ideas in my head, and he does his best to ensure I’ll be prepared for my future. He does this as he teaches me in his classes as well as when I seek particular advice. Furthermore, the classes I’ve taken thus far have helped me to identify what my passions are and what they are not. I feel assured that this refinement will help me when it comes time to make more permanent decisions.
Do you have any advice for students considering Evangel?
There are so many reasons why a prospective student should choose Evangel, but the one that recurs in my mind is the faculty. Evangel faculty members go to lengths to help students become successful, and it’s obvious that they’re deeply caring individuals. I’ll never forget the time when a certain soft-hearted professor lectured us on personal matters until it moved him to tears on our behalf. My favorite advice to give, and that which I find to be most important, is to get plenty of rest. Consistently getting eight hours of sleep at night keeps me from being tired throughout the day, and I’m able to better apply myself in my classes and in my work. I was once told that a good portion of preparing for a test is sleeping well the night before. I hold to this belief almost religiously, and I would encourage other students to do the same. Sleep is refreshing.