By GALEN HAWES
ADA – Another East Central University Tiger is leaping the ocean to study abroad.
Jacob Talkington, of Pauls Valley, will soon begin his nearly 5,000-mile journey to explore a new country and culture, all while continuing his studies there. He will attend the University of Extremadura in Cáceres, Spain, this spring semester. Because it is a sister school to ECU, he can attend without having to pay extra tuition.
“I started learning Spanish in 2016 on the Duolingo app and became passionate about learning more, so I took a Spanish class,” said Talkington, a senior Computer Science major. “Once I realized I was interested in studying abroad in Spain, I told Dr. Sukholutskaya about it and she gave me the application.”
Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, a longtime Foreign Languages professor at ECU, is director of the University’s Global Education program. She helps students explore the world through academic exchange opportunities. The experience of studying abroad provides a student with a much better understanding of different ethnic groups, cultures, philosophies, and traditions than a textbook or lecture, Sukholutskaya said.
This will be Talkington’s first trip overseas, academic or otherwise.
“I chose to study in Spain because I wanted to experience the Spanish culture,” Talkington said. “My goals are to represent my country and my University, as well as to encourage students in Spain to come study here at ECU.”