Geraldine Cardenas ('09) | Teacher Education
First-grade/bilingual teacher at
Bowie Elementary, Abilene, Texas
When Geraldine Cardenas chose ACU, she had three things in mind - to grow in her faith, to be close to home, and to get the best education available.
She got that and a whole lot more. Imagine her surprise when she got the opportunity to be part of ACU's first summer teaching program in China.
Community within students and community within faculty and staff - this community of people is always there to help you in academics and in faith.
"I was very surprised that going to ACU would lead me to Beijing, China, teaching children," said Geraldine, whose now is a first-grade/bilingual teacher for Abilene Independent School District.
But that's exactly what happened to Geraldine and seven classmates who spent five weeks in Beijing last summer. Four weeks were devoted to teaching children in the International Academy of Beijing, a fully accredited private Christian school.
About 80 percent of its students are Korean, and they speak English with varying levels of proficiency. The ACU students were the teacher-of-record in their classes. They prepared lessons plans, taught the class, met with parents - even decorated the bulletin boards. Not many university education programs offer than kind of experience for undergraduates.
The final week of the trip was spent visiting some of the country's most famous sites such as the Great Wall of China. And that's where Geraldine and her ACU friends discovered something else about their university - it's world famous!
Geraldine kept a blog while on the trip and recorded the visit to the Great Wall.
"When we were walking on the Wall, someone spotted our ACU shirts and shouted, 'ACU, I went to ACU!' "
To Geraldine, that experience demonstrated the community-building aspect of an ACU education.
"Community within students and community within faculty and staff - this community of people is always there to help you in academics and in faith," Geraldine said.
Like thousands of other ACU students before her, Geraldine is learning that ACU is a place where faith and minds can grow. She feels ready for graduate school after she gets her degree in education and will be ready to take on the world.
"ACU has given me so many experiences that have helped me grow, as well as the knowledge to teach children and become a master teacher," Geraldine said.
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