Erik NordwallDenise Goldman
A long time ago, Erik Nordwall took a Spanish class just to keep his doors open for college. He didn’t have much interest in it. But what he found was literally a whole other world and a really good time! Also, he felt pretty cool starting to be able to communicate in another language! Since then, Erik has continued to study and practice Spanish for himself because he likes it. He also dabbles with the Swedish language because his grandfather immigrated from Sweden making it a heritage language of Erik’s.
After catching the language-learning bug, Erik caught the travel bug with the idea of using his language skills in their home countries. In relation to the Spanish language, he has spent time in Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Spain, and many parts of the United States! In relation to the Swedish language, he has been to Sweden a couple of times and he’s in contact with many relatives. Apart from that, Erik has also traveled to Canada, Brazil, Denmark, Morocco, Iceland, Vietnam, and Japan.
Erik’s life experience with language and travel has brought him to his latest passion which is becoming a teacher and attempting to share and pass on the idea of language and travel. But why? Erik has learned and believes that gaining experience in another’s language and culture will help us all gain understanding and compassion for ourselves and others, which in turn makes for a more peaceful existence! Essentially, we practice being open-minded. This idea of being open-minded translates to both our own neighborhoods and to places far, far away! At UMA, Erik took 9 high school students to Costa Rica during the 2017-18 school year. The next Costa Rica trip is planned for the 2019-20 school year!
Erik lives with his wife, Jacquie, his baby boy, Elan, and their two cats. He has his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Spanish Studies from the University of Minnesota. He received his teaching license from Hamline University where he is currently finishing his Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.): World Language: Spanish. This 2018-19 school year will be Erik’s 6th year teaching Spanish and his 3rd year teaching at Upper Mississippi Academy! He continues to be very excited and motivated being at UMA!