Andrea Winbigler

Class Year

’13

Hometown

Roseville, Ill.

Major(s)

Spanish

Minor(s)

Secondary Education and Dance

When she was a freshman, Andrea Winbigler ’13, was nervous about speaking Spanish in front of her classmates. She was afraid to make a mistake. She has since learned that the Carthage Spanish professors have one goal: to increase student fluency. This is reinforced by the Modern Language’sstudy abroad requirement, which was a big draw to the program for Andrea when she was looking at schools.

“The fact that language students are required to study abroad really drew me to the program because it shows that the program values the learning of the language and the growth of students in language and culture,” she said. “The department’s main strength is the focus on the student’s learning of the language. The professors really do believe in you and help your fluency develop.”

Andrea advises students who are considering a Spanish major to have confidence and go to the Target Language Experts and professors for help when it is needed.

“I think that the TLE program is very effective,” Andrea said. “The TLEs help immensely during courses. During my Spanish 311 course, I visited the TLEs frequently in order to get help on my papers. They really help you learn more and they are able to explain the language.”

Andrea has yet to fulfill her study abroad requirement — she will be spending Fall 2011 in Lima, Peru — but she does have some experience living in a Spanish-speaking country. She spent July 2010 living and studying in Curridabat, Costa Rica, where she participated in a language study program. During her time there, she lived with a local host family, traveled, and visited local students at an after-school program twice a week.

“Obviously, I learned more about the language, but other than the obvious, I learned more than I ever would have imagined,” Andrea said. “I gained confidence in the language and learned that my abilities reach farther than I thought. I learned that there are opportunities everywhere you look: opportunities to learn, make friends, grow and help others.”

“Carthage really became my second home and all the people here have become my second family.”

Andrea Winbigler, ’13

Career goal

To be a high school Spanish teacher and dance coach.

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“My favorite professor outside of my major has been Dominic Klyve. He was an amazing professor and the perfect professor to have first semester of my freshman year for my Heritage I class. I really feel like he prepared me for the rest of my college career and I would frequently go to his office just to chat. Inside my Spanish major, Lynn Loewen is my favorite. She really pushed me in my Spanish 311class and I improved immensely.”

Favorite class

“I don’t even know where to begin on favorite classes. Most of my classes have really been great in their own ways. I love all of my dance classes, which allow me to grow and express myself as a dancer. My Heritage I class was amazing because of Prof. Klyve and all of the real-life discussions we had in class. Finally, Spanish 311 because it really helped me improve in all aspects of the Spanish language.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class thus far has been Human Geography. It was difficult because of the workload, as well as the fact that it was a two-hour class that I wasn’t particularly interested in the majority of the time. In the end, I did start to enjoy the class; however, it was still challenging for me.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“All of my favorite Carthage moments include my friends, whether it be going on late night trips to Marina Gardens, just hanging out, or coming back to my room on my birthday where my friends threw me a surprise party. All of my Carthage friends have a special place in my heart.”

Favorite spot on campus

“As lame as this may sound, my favorite spot on campus is my dorm room. It faces the lake and I love being able to look out the window and see the lake. I also love just relaxing or hanging out with my friends in there.”

Biggest surprise so far

I knew that Carthage would be an amazing fit for me, but my biggest surprise is that it truly is a home away from home. My freshman year, when I went home to Illinois for Christmas break, I was surprised to miss Carthage and to call it my home, even though I had only been there for a semester. Carthage really became my second home, and all the people here have become my second family.”