Three Concordia seniors have been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistant awards.
Jenna Scarbrough, Oliver Reitan and Ruth Peterson will be providing assistance in English classrooms overseas while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.
While Scarbrough has a background in German – she has a minor in the language and had experience at the German village at Concordia Language Villages – she decided to step out of her comfort zone. After having spent a semester in India and a month teaching English in Rwanda, Scarbrough chose to teach in Malaysia. An English and global studies double major, she felt it was a good way to tie in her global studies major by living and working in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country. While official placement haven’t happened yet, she expects to be placed in a rural area working with secondary students for 10 months.
“I’m going to take on any and all challenges that come with it,” Scarbrough says.
Reitan, a German and education double major, will be teaching in Germany under the Fulbright. It fits with his plans to teach German in the U.S. upon returning and he’s also looking to gain deeper insights into the culture of Germany.
Although he’s not certain of what city he’ll be teaching in, Reitan will be in Rheinland-Palatinate, a state that sits on the border with France.
“This is truly an amazing opportunity for me, particularly as it allows me to get a firsthand look at how the school system functions,” says Reitan. “I will be working in a German school 10-15 hours per week and am hoping to set up an English program for adults who would like to learn English but are not in school.”
Peterson, an art and German double major, will also be teaching in Germany. She studied during the 2015-16 academic year in Bamberg, Germany, and looks forward to returning to experience a different aspect of German life through teaching. She’ll be placed somewhere in Rhineland-Palatinate, working as an assistant to an English teacher in a school.
Peterson says this will be a unique opportunity where she’ll be both a learner and a teacher living in a fully immersive setting, but will still have the supportive community of the Fulbright program.
“I absolutely fell in love with Germany while studying in Bamberg, and I’m excited to be a part of this cultural exchange,” says Peterson.
The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It’s designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries.
The students are waiting to receive their specific destinations and teaching assignments.