Open microphone: with Ashley Leeman

Ashley Leeman is our guest on the blog today. She is a former CIDE student and now teaches Spanish in Washington, D.C.


When did you study at CIDE? Why did you choose the University of Deusto?

I studied at CIDE during the summer of 2004 and fall of 2005. I chose the Universidad de Deusto because my university, Mary Washington,  has an exchange programme with CIDE.

My fondest memories are of the friends I made and the places I visited.  As part of the programme, I met with students from other universities to study languages (including Basque) and learn about Bilbao’s culture and traditions.  Having the chance to share these experiences with other students made them more educational, unforgettable and loads of fun! Through the programme, I also got to visit a lot of different places in Spain: Madrid, Guernica and, my favourite place: Segovia. Without the opportunities I had at CIDE, I would never have learned about the history and culture of these places or had the chance to travel and visit them.

Do you think studying in Bilbao made a difference for you?

Definitely! I really improved my Spanish when I was in Bilbao.  I also learned a lot about the culture, history and language of Bilbao through the CIDE programme and my Basque friends.

What do you do now? Does your job have anything to do with Spanish?

I am a Spanish teacher at a primary school in Washington, D.C.  I enjoy teaching my students about Spanish culture and language and encourage them to visit the places I did.

Photographs courtesy of Ashley.

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