If you’ve ever participated in our online English classes through CC English, you may have had the pleasure of meeting Tina Hayes. She’s recently started a new adventure in London, but we were lucky enough to get to chat with her about her journey at Intercambio just before she left.
“My name is Tina, and I’m from Centennial, Colorado! I attended college at the University of Colorado Boulder, near one of Intercambio’s offices. In my free time, I like to visit local farmers’ markets and bookstores, play tennis with my friends, and travel.
I first heard about Intercambio through a student organization on CU Boulder’s campus, Swap. I participated in Swap in various capacities throughout my time in college, and I worked with the Intercambio textbooks, Immigrant Guide, and app through the Swap program. I grew very familiar with Intercambio’s mission and the resources available to participants of the organization. Because of my knowledge about the organization, I was excited to apply for an internship with CC English, Intercambio’s online program, in 2022! I began my internship with CC English last year and felt very at home given its similarities to my work with Swap over the years.
After completing my internship, I was offered a job with the organization! I was excited to accept the new position because of how positive my internship experience had been. I also truly appreciated the culture and mission of the organization and the people who I got to know and work with!
When I describe Intercambio, I always mention the organization’s focus on community building, fostering close personal connections between program participants, and viewing the English language not as a necessity but a useful skill. I emphasize the Cultural Humility training that is hosted by the organization which promotes cross-cultural learning between native and non-native English speakers. I think these aspects make Intercambio unique, especially considering the general emphasis on learning English to “fit in” to American society.
I believe that people who immigrate to the U.S. should be offered opportunities to find and build their communities, grow more comfortable and confident in their environment, and have the skills to meet new friends or coworkers. Intercambio shares this belief with me, so I was always able to appreciate the work of my CC English team and the organization writ large.
I enjoyed getting to know my colleagues at the organization! The Intercambio staff are a wonderful, welcoming group of people. I also enjoyed attending various events hosted by Intercambio in the Boulder community, like its fundraising event, Cambio, in the spring!“