Drawn to Spanish since high school, Khaira Bolden ’21 double-majored in Modern Language Studies and International Studies at Guilford. She wanted to connect with people around her who speak different languages.
“The idea of being able to communicate with not just English speakers and learners but also with other Spanish speakers and learners around the globe excited me. Learning and developing confidence within a new language felt so incredibly rewarding,” Khaira says. “I decided to also major in International Studies because I wanted to learn more about geopolitical issues throughout history and in current events.”
The Colorado native was raised in Sanford, N.C., about an hour from the College. “I chose Guilford because of its warm and welcoming atmosphere and the beautiful campus. I also had the opportunity to continue playing volleyball,” says the middle blocker who played for the Quakers for four years and served as team captain her senior year.
Khaira had the chance to travel abroad twice during her time at Guilford. After her sophomore year, she spent five weeks in Antigua, Guatemala, with the Center for Principled Problem Solving and Excellence in Teaching. While there, she held an internship in which she became certified in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
“Throughout my time in Guatemala, I had the chance to instruct real classes, receive evaluations and feedback from current teachers, and even travel to Lake Atitlan. This propelled my desire to teach as a profession,” she shares.
During her junior year at Guilford, Khaira traveled to Valparaiso, Chile, to study abroad. “Unfortunately, my trip, along with many others, was cut quite short due to COVID-19,” she says. “However, I met incredible friends and faculty and I got to visit the Atacama Desert. I have an even greater desire to return, as well as to visit other countries across Latin America.”
“Seeing how passionate Karen is about her students’ learning capabilities really captivated me. I always looked forward to having her as an instructor because I knew that my learning would grow exponentially.”
Spanish at Home
These enriching experiences and the mentorship of Guilford professors led to Khaira’s fulfilling role as the Lower School Spanish Teacher at New Garden Friends School. She works with students age pre-K through sixth grade.
“It is so exciting to work with young students because we get to do a lot of conversation-based learning. We also sing a lot of music and play fun games. It is quite different from the way I learned Spanish, which was very grammar- and vocabulary-based,” she explains. “I get to have a lot of fun with my students every single day while also helping the development of learning a second language!”
Khaira credits Spanish Professor Karen Spira for much of her success. “Seeing how passionate Karen is about her students’ learning capabilities really captivated me,” she says. “I always looked forward to having her as an instructor because I knew that my learning would grow exponentially.”
Khaira also enjoyed her classes with Political Science Professor Ken Gilmore, from whom she learned a lot. “Ken is an expert in his field, and I think he does a great job at making sure his students don’t feel bad about being novices.”
Between playing volleyball, studying abroad, serving as an RA her sophomore and senior years, and singing in the Gospel Choir, Khaira took advantage of her time at Guilford.
“My advice for students who choose Guilford is to explore this new, or not so new, city you live in now. You have no idea how many resources there are in Greensboro and the Triad area. There are so many things to do, people to meet, and places to explore.”
Did you know that nearly 100 percent of Guilford College Modern Language Studies majors study abroad? Where could you go with Guilford? Learn more about foreign language majors and study abroad opportunities at Guilford during your personalized visit to this historic campus. For more information, contact the Office of Admission at 336.316.2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or begin your application now.