The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW Spanish professor talks benefits of travel

NW professor Alejandro Garza firmly believes in travel. Photo by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
NW professor Alejandro Garza firmly believes in travel.
Photo by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

By Tamenia Jourdan/reporter

Having to conquer a foreign country and learn a new language to improve one’s life can be challenging.

But NW Spanish professor Alejandro Garza did just that when he was a student and continues as a professor.

“My experience as a student has reflected my teaching career in so many ways,” said the Monterrey, Mexico, native. “I didn’t grow up in the best neighborhood or attend the nicest school.”

To continue his education in the U.S., Garza accepted a scholarship for swimming to Palo Alto Community College in California.

“Once I was accepted to the college, I found out in order to go to nationals, I needed to take college-level courses and not ESL courses, and I didn’t know any English.”

He said he learned English fluently, and his love for travel grew more after a study abroad program in Spain at Texas State University.

Since graduating from TSU, Garza earned a master’s degree and a doctorate while visiting over 60 countries.

After he finished his career as an All-American student-athlete, Garza translated his love of education into teaching career.

This is Garza’s sixth year teaching at TCC and his fourth year directing the study abroad program in Costa Rica.

“You can connect more with the students at the college level, and I’d rather be involved in activities with the students,” he said. “That’s why I love TCC and the Costa Rica program. I love traveling, and it was a big part of my life. It’s the reason why I have accomplished so much.”

Garza said that the one-month program allows students to take Intermediate Spanish while experiencing the culture of the country, living with natives and ultimately learning the language.

“All the students who have done it are still in contact with me in one way or another, and they have mentioned that the program has been one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives,” he said. “I wanted to grant students the same opportunity I was given. I can relate to students a lot because I had to learn English. That learning experience has helped my teaching experience.”

The study program in Costa Rica will not take place this summer, but that won’t stop Garza from encouraging students to travel the world and learn Spanish. He will continue to teach the language in a style that will incorporate global experience into his classroom.

“It’s the most beautiful thing because when I’m doing something that makes me happy, I don’t see it as a job,” he said. “It’s my passion to teach the language and travel, so coming to work isn’t really work.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian