FLTA Series: Introducing Rachel Urbano Querol

Hey! Welcome everyone! This is Rachel, one of the Spanish Foreign Language Teaching Assistants for the 2022-2023 academic year at Wes. 

I am from Madrid, a beautiful city that never sleeps, has a bar in every corner, and happiness in every street. Today has been 1 month and 1 day since I arrived in Middletown. Since the beginning of this experience, the whole FLTA group has been having these international dinners where we share our culture and get to know each other more, working towards a long-lasting relationship.  

I think our memories determine in a way who we are and who we want to be. One of my favorite memories here so far is the “Spanish dinner” Alba (one of the other Spanish FLTAs, who has a big part of my heart nowadays) and I hosted. We spent the whole afternoon cooking “Tortilla de Patatas”. We hung some colorful lights in the living room, moved all the furniture around and made our friends bring even more chairs. Then we shared stories, time, and life together. But we also shared weird habits, like eating tortilla de patatas with ketchup—yes, you read that correctly. If you’re Spanish or have ever been to Spain, you would know there is what we call “las dos Españas” or “the two Spains”: the ones that like the tortilla de patatas with onion, and the ones who don’t; the ones who eat tortilla plain, and the ones—like me—who eat it with ketchup. It’s the classic with or without pineapple on pizza kind of thing—excuse me Elena (our Italian FLTA)!

Everyone thinks the opposite way of doing whatever they do is insane but, in our group, we accept and laugh at our differences and usually we discover that we’re more alike than we even thought we could be. I remember every single one of us talking and laughing, just like a big family reunion with music in the background. I’m thankful to Wes for not only empowering me to be an ambassador of my own country and spread my experiences, but also for allowing me to meet these amazing people and let me be a part of their life.  

As for my education, I graduated in in Clinical Psychology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid after having spent the past year studying in Southern California as part of an exchange program with the University of California San Diego (UCSD). There, I had an internship and worked on my thesis, named “SCHIZOPHRENIA IN AFRICAN AMERICANS: BIAS OR PREVALENCE?”, and met some amazing people.

I’ve always loved to jump out of my comfort zone and explore different cultures and languages, like when I served as a mentor for international students in Madrid for a couple of years. I studied in England for a bit and then worked in Morocco since I studied Modernic Languages, Culture and Communication in both French and Arabic. I’m even working on my Portuguese this year! 

I love acroyoga and coffee is my passion, but also one of the things I miss the most about Spain.  

I’m always happy to talk about my culture and just anything in general, I’m super social. If you see me and want to stop me just to say hi, you should definitely do that! Hope I’ll see you around! Be safe all of you!  

Rachel Urbano Querol, Spanish FLTA, rurbanoquerol@wesleyan.edu