Brandon Shamou with arms folded wearing a white t-shirt

Brandon Shamoun: Representing the D while teaching abroad

RoboCop, Hardcore Pawn and, once in a while, Eminem or 8 Mile. That’s what most people in Spain want to talk with Brandon Shamoun about when he tells them he’s from Detroit.

Shamoun graduated from Wayne State in August 2014 and is spending this school year teaching English to elementary school students in Arahal, a small town outside of Seville. 

Although his current job seems like a perfect fit — Shamoun earned bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and Spanish — it wasn’t really a part of his original plan.

During his sophomore year at Wayne State, the Sterling Heights native began serving as a peer mentor in the College of Education and really enjoyed it. That led to him get involved with Student Senate, Street Squad and New Student Orientation, among several other campus organizations. 

His senior year, he decided to move to Detroit.

“When I lived on campus I wasn’t worried about leaving to beat rush hour traffic. I could attend Thursday in the D events, and it allowed me to attend Student Senate meetings in the evenings. Overall, it just allowed me to get involved more,” he said.

That involvement led him to his current career path. 

“While working on orientation, I met Dean (David) Strauss and began working very closely with the Dean of Students Office once I was on Student Senate,” said Shamoun. “I really enjoyed it, and he helped me out as a mentor.”

Shamoun decided to pursue a career working in student affairs, and he applied to several graduate programs in higher education. He didn’t receive the paid assistantships he was hoping for, so he decided to take a year off and have an adventure overseas.  

Shamoun teaches 18 classes a week and says his language skills have improved greatly over the last few months.

Outside of work he has made several friends while attending language exchanges at restaurants and bars, where Spaniards can practice their English with him and he can work on his Spanish. 

“This is probably the first time since kindergarten that I have had to start from scratch and make new connections and friends and learn a city and an environment. In all it has been very eye-opening and rewarding,” he said.

Shamoun plans to begin graduate school in the fall. Wherever he goes, he’ll no doubt get involved.