By: Abigail Ayers
Through the international experience gained through GPC, he explored the importance of education and its role in our interconnected cultural communities.
This April, our GPC Alumni Spotlight is proud to focus on Jason Syphrett who graduated in 2014 with a double major in Business Administration and International Studies. During his time at NC State, he completed the Global Perspectives Certificate Program and became a Fulbright Scholar, a notable award that allowed him to further pursue his passion for international education. After graduation, Syphrett spent two years teaching English in Bulgaria followed by a year of teaching in Madrid, Spain. In 2017, Syphrett began teaching English at a foreign language school in Beijing, China, where he still teaches.
As a Fulbright Scholar, Syphrett had the opportunity to take his skills in his major to Bulgaria, where he taught English to high school Students. He worked to improve his students’ skills in speaking, pronunciation, and comprehension of English, while strengthened their vocabulary. Additionally, he formed lectures for his students to prepare them for language exams, and inform them of US cultural norms and history. In addition to teaching in Bulgaria, Syphrett also led a Speech and Debate team with his students that introduced them to humanitarian ethics and global issues.
Syphrett then spent ten months teaching in Madrid, Spain, where his concentration was on primary and secondary ESL students. His main goal was to assist them with their basic writing, reading, and speaking skills through lessons he created that would be both time efficient and best fitting each student’s learning abilities. In Spain, he learned about Spanish culture and the school system, while further enhancing his passion for cultural awareness in education.
Starting in 2017, Syphrett worked for a foreign language school in China where he continues to work. He teaches first and third grade students through the Carden Method, a teaching style which assimilates itself to best match the child’s learning potential and preferred style. His skills as a successful teacher are built upon the global competencies he developed through prior international experience as he is fully equipped to work with his peers of other cultural backgrounds. “I know how to listen to their perspectives, identify similarities, share and connect [with others],” said Syphrett.
The skills he built with GPC in college have helped him in the work environment. He gained a better understanding of global interactions and has been given the opportunity todevelop many friendships around the world. Because he understands how interdependent global cultures are, he brings productivity to our global community. “Through global interactions, you realize how small the world is with the age of technology and the increase in travel. I feel as if we are one click away from each other.” By pursuing GPC, Syphrett learned the importance of foreign languages in our society which is what inspired him to pursue the work experience he was able to complete after graduation.
For current GPC students, Syphrett highlights Study Abroad as being one of the most valuable experiences he completed with the GPC. From his study abroad experience during the 2012-2013 academic year, he gained a greater understanding of how people in other nations view our culture and how we can better understand theirs. “This opened my eyes to education outside the classroom; by traveling, learning the history and culture of different countries you realize there is a lot going on in the world outside your own country.”