Two words can be used to describe Lucia Pin: boundless enthusiasm

Two words can be used to describe Lucia Pin: boundless enthusiasm. Pin, a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, is visiting Montevideo this week as part of a tour of Minnesota schools and communities.

Lucia, 30, has been teaching in her hometown of Montevideo for 10 years. “I am an English teacher, I teach adults mostly, and I also study architecture. I hope to get my degree in architecture in a couple of years,” she said.

She began attending the university in Montevideo when she was eighteen, and as she explained, the path to becoming a teacher in Uruguay is different than in the United States. “When I was nineteen, I started teaching. Studying and teaching at the same time is hard. You need to study, but you also need to work, so you have to find a balance, and it is hard,” said Lucia.

Lucia was fortunate to begin studying English when she was seven years old. She said: “So I learned English then, and when I turned 18 I took my proficiency exam and began taking my teacher training course. It has been a challenge!”

Lucia teaches at Alianza, a private institute in Montevideo where there is quite a demand to learn English. “Most of the time, people didn’t study English in high school because they couldn’t, or they didn’t have any possibility to learn English then,” she said.

This is why Alianza students tend to be older, and Lucia said you have to be at least 16 years old to study there.

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