When Quentin Timblin first came to Nebraska Wesleyan University, he had his heart set on studying chemistry.
Fast forward four years and he’s studying abroad in Argentina and thinking about medical school.
The senior biochemistry and modern language studies double major said impactful courses and conversations led him down a new path.
“That has been one of the best decisions I have made,” Timblin said of declaring a double major.
Timblin didn’t realize his interest in Spanish until his first semester at NWU. He heard upperclassmen talking about their experiences abroad, and was intrigued. Adding a second major in modern languages would widen his understanding of different cultures, Timblin said.
“There are so many different cultures and countries that are opened to me by knowing Spanish.”
His mother’s side of the family is Mexican, but Timblin knew if he wanted to know more about the culture, he had to learn the language. He knew learning Spanish would be beneficial no matter his career choice.
The Gering, Neb., native put his double major into practice last summer, working as a pharmacy technician in Madrid, Spain. The opportunity to work in Spain during the summer was an ideal option for his senior capstone project. Timblin said the internship allowed him to travel and learn another culture and a different style of Spanish. He discovered the pharmacy technician opportunity through a program called Adelante, which provided housing and placed him in a pharmacy in the center of Madrid.
“I learned so much about the pharmacy system in Spain and also a lot of terminology that I would have never thought about knowing,” he said. “Having that experience of speaking with people in Spanish about medical-related topics and the terminology that came along with that will definitely help later on.”
Before leaving for his summer in Spain, Timblin decided to spend his fall semester studying abroad, choosing South America for the opportunity to get two distinctly different experiences. He considered Argentina and Chile, ultimately selecting Argentina because of its diversity and the opportunity to experience beaches, mountains, and glaciers in one place.
“One of my main goals has been to make time to travel to these places because I may not have the same opportunity again,” he said.
From these two distinct immersive experiences, Timblin has learned, “that even if you know what you are expecting and think you are ready for it, there will come a time when you feel homesick, but it always gets better. And after that moment, you will find yourself starting to pick up the language and the culture better and start to enjoy your time.”
In May, Timblin will graduate from Nebraska Wesleyan, and then will take a year to work and job shadow.
“I’m interested in medical school right now, but I’m taking time to gain the experiences I need to make the right decision,” he said.
—Story by Carly Bostock, public relations intern