Sergio Ochoa Carlos discovered his love of language when he moved to San Diego from Tijuana more than 30 years ago. In fact, Sergio was so enthralled with learning different languages that while still a university student he was enrolled in French, Italian, German, and English—all in one semester. “I loved it!” exclaims Sergio.
Sergio took course work in general studies and travel agency operations while a student at Southwestern College. However, when he transferred to San Diego State University, he decided to follow his passion and became a French major. After graduating with a B.A. in French and a minor in Italian, Sergio put his language skills to the test. He embarked on a winter trip to Europe where he visited France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, England, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg. “During this trip I was able to meet the Pope and even shook his hand,” says Sergio. “It was a tremendous experience.”
Upon returning to the U.S. Sergio obtained his master’s degree in Spanish Literature from San Diego State University. During this time, he worked as a teaching assistant in the SDSU Spanish and Portuguese Department. This experience convinced him to pursue language instruction as a career. In 1990, Sergio accepted a full-time teaching position at MiraCosta.
Besides teaching a variety of Spanish courses at MiraCosta, Sergio is also involved in study abroad programs. He has taken students to Costa Rica and Spain and participates in the MiraCosta Weekends in Ensenada Program. Sergio is also well known for his colorful tie collection—he claims to have over 80 ties. “When I wear my ties to class students say, ‘¡Qué corbata TAN fea!’ or ‘¡Qué corbata TAN bonita!’” explains Sergio. “The ties are really a conversation starter. It makes class fun and that’s what learning languages should be—fun!”