November 28, 2018 at 2:30pm
Dane Lisser

Fueled by inspiration, Millikin international student aspires to become elementary education teacher

Gerard Santiveri hopes to someday become a teacher, and not just for job purposes, but because he wants to make an impact on the lives of future students – similar to how many teachers have impacted his life while growing up.

Santiveri is an international student from Lleida, Spain, an ancient city in Spain's northeastern Catalonia region. He's majoring in elementary education and understands how important education is in trying to make a difference in the world.

"I feel that education plays a huge role in today's society, it provides many tools for anyone to reach their goal," said Santiveri. "When I was younger, I had so many great teachers and they inspired me, and that's the type of teacher I want to be."


For Santiveri, traveling abroad has opened his eyes to new experiences, new places around the world and meeting new people. "It makes you very open-minded because you're able to learn different languages and open doors to many opportunities," he said.

While on campus, Santiveri says Millikin's Performance Learning curriculum has helped him grow as a student.

"I want to be the best when it comes to delivering a message as a teacher. Through all the courses and subjects, you're taught how to perform in front of people and that is something you will always get at Millikin," he said.

Santiveri's courses, especially those through Millikin's English Language Center, have given him opportunities to learn how to transition from Spanish to English, something he wants to incorporate in his teachings.

Gerard Santiveri

"Being immersed in those languages and being able to switch so easily – that's the type of teacher I want to be," said Santiveri. "I love that through my classes I'm able to learn about different life experiences from people, American studies and understanding how to work with at-risk students."

Millikin University enrolled a record 95 international students from 30 different countries this academic year.

Elementary Education at Millikin

Through Millikin's elementary education program, students are prepared to become teachers through a combination of classes connected to early and frequent field experiences. In addition to developing theoretical and practical knowledge, students develop sensitivity to diverse cultures, take responsibility for establishing a positive climate, respect students as individuals and demonstrate appropriate professional practice.