TMI alum returns to tell students about life in Ecuador

5/2/2018–JuliaGrace Walker, who graduated last year from TMI Episcopal, returned April 26 for a daylong series of talks to Upper School Spanish classes about her experiences in Ecuador with a gap-year program, Global Citizen Year.For nine months, Walker lived with a host family in El Cabo, Ecuador, and served an apprenticeship teaching English at a high-school in a neighboring community.

In English and in Spanish, Walker told students about the advantages of a gap or bridge year between high school and college: “You can become fluent in another language, learn about another culture, help other people and boost your own self-confidence.”

Through her time in Ecuador, Walker traveled around the South American country, learned a lot about both Spanish and English grammar as a teacher, won second place as queen of a Carnaval float, became skilled in Ecuadoran home cooking, kept a personal blog and published stories online about her international adventures. After nearly a year away from home, she says, “I feel confident that I can adapt to any new environment, including a college campus.” Next fall, Walker will be a first- year student at Southern Methodist University, where she will study International Relations and Spanish.

Global Citizen is a nonprofit organization that connects students with home stays, training and apprenticeships for a year abroad between high school and college. For more information, visit