Since graduating with a master’s degree from Lehigh, Nicole Schwartz ’13 ’14G has been living in Spain, first residing in Madrid for two years, and now Barcelona. Nicole is currently a kindergarten teacher at an international school on the beach. Since she arrived in Spain, Nicole has been very involved in Latin dance classes and performing groups, learning Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba — one of her groups even won a competition in Mallorca. While in Barcelona, Nicole has also been learning another dance, MZouk, and is now teaching her own classes. Nicole is currently preparing several choreographies to perform in various locations around the world.
Nicole is loving the European lifestyle and taking advantage of the many opportunities to travel and discover nearby countries. In the small amount of time Nicole has left in her busy life, she devotes herself to learn about alternative medicine, self-improvement, various therapies, mindfulness, Chinese medicine, and energy healing techniques like Reiki and Inner Healer. She already has earned a Level 2 Reiki certification and is now putting it into action to help others.
What are you most passionate about in your work?
NS: Being a teacher is all about the children! I completely fall in love with each new group of students I get. This year, I’m very happy with my fellow coworkers and the location of my school. I can walk to the beach on my lunch break! Not many teachers can say the same. I’m a very lucky gal!
What about your Lehigh experience sparked your interest in what you do now? How did Lehigh help shape your professional success?
NS: The combination of two things at Lehigh guided me to where I am now. First, tutoring at Broughal Middle School and teaching at the Lehigh University Child Care Center led me to my current career path as a teacher. During my sophomore year at Lehigh, I realized that my life goal isn’t to make money. It’s to do what I love, and that’s to teach. Secondly, studying abroad, twice in Spain, helped open my eyes to the grand and beautiful world we live in. I was fortunate enough to be able to find a teaching job abroad in my favorite country.
What advice do you have for current students who are interested in your field?
NS: If you are interested in teaching abroad, look into the American and international schools. There are so many around the world and those bigger schools are likely to help with your paperwork to be able to live and work in a foreign country. If you didn’t study Education, it’s okay! You can easily find opportunities to just teach English all around the world. Teaching abroad is a both an amazing experience and an exciting career path.
If you couldn’t work in your current profession, what area would you work in?
NS: I would love to eventually take my passion for dance to the next level. I would like to travel to new countries to perform and teach classes – a great combination of travel, teaching, and dance. I am also looking into another master’s degree. This time, I’d like to study Dance Therapy, which would combine very well with my interest in therapies and the psychology degree I already have from Lehigh! I don’t plan on moving back to the United States anytime soon, so I am looking into all these options in Spain and Europe.
Which fan base do you enjoy teasing more: Lafayette fans or Duke fans?
NS: I love teasing Lafayette fans! In my experience at Lehigh, that’s all we did!
If you had to pick one Lehigh/Bethlehem “delicacy” to eat for the rest of your life (guilt-free), what would it be?
NS: Oh my gosh, my mouth waters just thinking about Johnny’s sausage, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel!!
What is your favorite Lehigh item that you own?
BS: I love my Lehigh sweatshirt that I can cuddle up with on chilly nights in Spain. Putting it on makes me feel like I’m in college again!