Ingrid Vega Interview


Maura Dulude, Herald Staff

Moving to a new country can be an intimidating experience, but not for Ingrid Vega. She was born in France and lived there for many years. She has experience traveling to many different countries and popular destinations. She loves seeing and experiencing new things, and welcomes change. 


Vega is the type of person who will travel to a new country for the experience without knowing the language or culture. She has traveled to many different countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Monaco, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Iceland, France, and more. 


Vega loves to learn about different cultures and places. Additionally, she is very knowledgeable about geography. When she was 23 years old, she decided to move to America. Prior to making that decision, she studied abroad in Norway. She moved there for school, and met her future husband. 


When she completed school, both she and her future husband moved to America. She got a degree in biology, but later decided to teach French at Holyoke High School. She also teaches at Holyoke Community College and works at the YMCA, among other small jobs. 


Vega is a large part of the greater Holyoke community and cares deeply about the city. When she first moved to America, she did not speak English. Vega addressed this issue in the interview, saying that learning English was difficult because she didn’t have access to many resources. There were no Internet or classes that could help her. In order to learn English, she read newspapers and watched TV shows. Some of her favorites included Gilmore Girls and Seinfeld. Cartoons also helped immensely because they were easy to understand. 


In addition to these topics, Vega stated that it can be very scary moving to a new country because there is a lot to learn, from language to lifestyle. When adopting American culture, she found many things both shocking and interesting, including the differences between French and American culture. One important difference that Vega noted was the food. 


Vega acknowledged that French food is “way better” than American food. French food ties into culture, and is very pure, healthier and real. She sees American food as “fake,” and more unhealthy. Additionally, Vega also believes Americans and the French have a different input on the quality of life. She explained a bit on how each country’s school system differs as well. 


Vega also made the case that French schools are harder than an average American school. Overall, there are many differences that surprised her. Still, she is happy to be here and experience America. 


Vega desires to see the world, and urges other people to as well. Every year, she takes students to different countries in Europe, or Hispanic islands. She is a large influence and role model for many students. Many are greatly influenced by her creativity and passion in life. She has also been described as “easygoing, and down to earth.” 


Change is a wonderful thing that can bring forward many opportunities. After asking Vega if she would move and do it all over again, she was quick to say yes and that she would like to live in Portugal. She agrees that it would be a great place to reside after retiring from teaching.