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Alumni Profile: Betsy Huizenga '06

While researching colleges as a high school student, Betsy Huizenga most appreciated Hope for two reasons: the campus’ size and the variety of opportunities to study in other countries. “I really liked the atmosphere of the campus as it was small enough to be very involved,” she says. “I also liked Hope because of its independent study-abroad program.”

Betsy certainly enjoyed both aspects fully while at Hope. During her four years of study, Betsy was very involved in multiple extracurricular activities, ranging from The Pull and Nykerk, yearly competitions between the freshman and sophomore classes, to serving as a residential assistant and as a tutor for the Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) program. “Each of these activities provided leadership opportunities and contact with people of all types of interests,” she says.

In order to begin to learn about culture outside of West Michigan, Betsy also studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during her junior year. Betsy’s study-abroad experience was more meaningful than she could have ever imagined.

“I was able to experience new cultures that I had learned about in class, but had never experienced in my own life,” she says. “The semester in Argentina helped me to be able to feel comfortable while traveling alone to new places and provided me with the confidence to try new things that I would not have normally done.”

While at Hope, Betsy was a language arts composite (education) and Spanish major. She has gone on to apply the language and life skills she obtained while at Hope first through teaching at an elementary school in Honduras for two years and currently as an elementary teacher at Zeeland Christian School, which has a Spanish-language immersion program. Betsy is also working for Small Talk for Kids, a company that emphasizes teaching world languages to children aged one to 10.

Meanwhile, as an individual who has experienced much of what Hope has to offer, Betsy believes that the best advice she can offer to students is to learn day by day while determining their own paths. “Go with the flow and be excited, yet relaxed about the future,” she says. “Learn from life one day and experience at a time.”

This profile was written by Christopher M. Lewis, a 2009 Hope College graduate from Troy, Mich., for the 2009-2010 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.