Student Abroad Spotlight: Tiffany Hilk

By Daniel Mendoza, M.S. • November 2, 2017

In the Fall of 2016 President Len Jessup described the distinctive characteristics of UNLV. Rebels are Different, Daring, and Diverse. Our students exude these attributes in several different ways across campus, in the community, and across the globe.  College of Education’s Tiffany Hilk, an Elementary Education major is currently in Galway, Ireland completing her final graduation requirement of Student Teaching.

Kylemore Abbey. “This photo is a little deceiving because it had just stopped pouring rain and we had to get back on the bus to go home, so this is probably the only photo I managed to get of Kylemore Abbey clearly. They’re currently trying to preserve the Abbey so that’s why half of it is covered in scaffolding.”

Student Teaching is the final semester for the College of Education teaching preparation majors. During this semester, students apply all that they have learned in their classes, projects and practicums while taking the lead role in a classroom and running it as their own.

We will be getting updates from Tiffany throughout her time in Ireland while she completes Student Teaching. In the Meantime, have a look at why she decided to go abroad.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Northern California but raised in Las Vegas since I was two. I graduated from Clark High School in 2012, funny enough for their Academy of Math, Science and Technology program and not their T.E.A.C.H program.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I have always loved learning and going to school. My goal when I return home is to get a job teaching in Clark County School District. I grew up in the city and I am going to help it to continue to grow. I also want to pursue my Master’s degree at UNLV.

What or who inspired you to Study Abroad?

I wanted to Student Teach abroad to challenge myself to gain a new perspective of the world by experiencing different cultures. I wanted to immerse myself in another culture to experience what challenges a new student could possibly face when moving to a new country. I want to see the diversity within education so that I can find the best possible methods to use within my classroom.  I hope to get a better understanding of various teaching methods and experience different cultures. This is my first international solo trip without my family and let me tell you it is hard because I have such a close knit family. I am very lucky they are supportive of my goals and aspirations. I talk to my family every day.

Why Ireland?

Tiffany at The Cliffs of Moher
“This day was probably the warmest day we had in Ireland. The views here are so surreal and exhilarating. I always wanted to visit the cliffs and let me tell you it did not disappoint.”

Ireland was actually my second choice. My first choice was England but due to some technical issues, I was not allowed to go. I was given the opportunity to come to Ireland instead and I jumped on it! I literally had two weeks to get everything together before I left for Ireland. I now get to share the experience with four other women who are also doing student teaching here. In England I would have been alone, but here we all have each other. Ireland is such a beautiful country with so much to offer. I am so glad I was able to come.

What has surprised you the most about Ireland in your first week?

It may seem weird but it would probably have to be how silent the rain is here. It could be sunny outside but when you look out the window and focus, you can see the rain. It is like a mist at times and other times it can be raining very aggressively.

Name three things you could NOT leave home without?

I would not leave home without a good book, multi-weather coat and my phone. There are a ton of things that I wanted to bring with me on this trip but when you are limited to a fifty pound bag and a carry-on bag, you quickly realize what is important to you.

Any tips for student thinking about studying abroad?

My biggest tip for students thinking about studying abroad is to do your research and be flexible. Know what you are getting yourself into. This is a big choice but if you decide to do it you will find it is going to be one of the best experiences you have.  

For more information about international student teaching, visit our website.