Her academic journey took her around the world, before her professional destiny brought her back to Spain. But no matter where she goes next, Professor Regina Chatruch del Río will tell you she is grateful for her life adventures and is passionate about helping others grow. Her love of discovering new cultures doesn’t just shine through in her professional life as an Arabic professor—it’s an important part of her hobbies and personal life as well.
Regina Chatruch del Río's life around the world
Professor Regina Chatruch del Río’s life has always been full of new experiences. After growing up in a small town in Cantabria, northern Spain, she says it was a big change to study Arabic while living in another country. But as she is driven by her curiosity about foreign literature, movies, and culture, she made sure to get as much out of these experiences as possible.
Later, as she began traveling more on her own, she found that her desire to learn about others grew. After college, she decided to complete her formation as an Arabic speaker at Damascus University—a time that allowed her to live in the Middle East, sharpen her language skills in authentic situations, and make new connections.
After completing her master’s degree, Regina began her professional journey at Spain’s top scientific research council, CSIC. After two years there, she was able to overcome the challenges of finding work opportunities by pursuing her PhD with an Erasmus BATTUTA scholarship in Algeria. After one year in northern Africa, she returned to Spain and found an enriching professional lead at IE University.
Regina says that becoming a professor was never part of her plan, and that because of the economic crisis at the time, she wasn’t sure where she’d find a job. But destiny brought her to the IE University community and she’s extremely grateful for all of the support she’s received throughout her time here. She highlights that her first few classes were challenging, but that the IEU Language Center helped her develop ideas for her classes. At the same time, Regina points out that she has a close relationship with her colleagues, who are always willing to lend a hand with materials, resources, activities, and more.
Today, Regina shares that one of her favorite parts of her job is interacting with her students. As someone who is always hungry for knowledge herself, she mentions that it’s great to see them grow and share their language skills with others. She knows that by learning Arabic—or any foreign language—her students will be better equipped for success in today’s international world. Every day, Regina puts her best foot forward to spark her students’ curiosity about the enriching world of Arabic literature, politics, films, music, and more.
This language lover is more than a professor. Regina enjoys short trips in the van with her dog that allow her to escape from the city and enjoy nature. She likes diving into new books—and into the sea. Whether she’s outdoors or deep under water, Regina says that the peace she feels in nature is wonderful. What’s more, as a travel lover, she says she spends a lot of time planning her trips to different countries—a reflection of her passion for learning about other ways of life. But at the end of the day, Regina adds that she also loves having the flexibility to make plans on the go, and to just let things happen.
While Regina explains that knowing a foreign language and appreciating a different culture are important in today’s world, she concludes that success is defined by what brings joy to each person.