Essay on UNESCO Fullbright Fellowship

Essay on UNESCO Fullbright Fellowship

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I am completing my Fulbright Grant year as an English Teaching Assistant in South Korea. In this role, I teach conversational English to students and hold teachers’ workshops at Gwangyang High School, an all-boy’s school. Upon my arrival, I was quickly able to adjust to the school environment, feeling integrated with the other teachers and comfortable with the students. I applied specifically to Fulbright Korea because I wanted to gain greater insight into the country’s recent economic success and add diversity to my international experiences by immersing myself in an Asian culture with which I was not yet familiar.

I teach 16 classes a week. Each of these classes contains 32 to 40 students, which allows me to engage with over 500 students per week. Getting to know so many students is challenging, but I make a point of finding the time to interact individually with each of them. During my classes, I cover the listening and speaking sections of the students’ English textbook. I then supplement these sections with my own lessons that complement and expand upon the information conveyed by the book. The students’ English abilities vary widely. With this in mind, I tailor activities to each class environment to engage the weaker students while still challenging the strongest students. I also play a large part in designing the students’ English mid-term and final exams. In this role, I work with the other teachers and carefully write and review questions to accurately represent what the students are learning in class.

In addition to my classes for students, I also run three teachers’ workshops per week, two for teachers in the English Department and one for teachers in other departments. I have been very well accepted by the other...

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...rsuit, I now understand Korean culture on a deeper level. For the culmination of my research I am writing a paper of my findings and observations.

Along with working on my project, I have also been learning Korean. I meet weekly with a Korean language partner for language exchange and attend an open Korean class. Also, as I live with a Korean home stay family, it has been important to me to make a long-lasting relationship with them that will continue to endure beyond my grant year. Through our meaningful daily interactions, using both Korean and English to communicate, my host family and I have developed a deep personal connection and have gained invaluable insights into each other’s cultures and lives. For the duration of my grant year, I will continue learning about Korea through my project, language study, and daily interactions with my home stay and school.

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