Saturday, April 30, 2016
Abby Grilli

Abigail Grilli, a UI graduate with a B.A. in elementary education, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to Greece for 2016-17.

Abigail Grilli, a UI graduate with a B.A. in elementary education, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to Greece for 2016-17. She plans to combine her love of teaching and long-term interest in Greek culture by serving as an English teaching assistant in Greece. Growing up with two close friends of Greek heritage inspired her to volunteer at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, where she created curriculum for youth education programs. The Burr Ridge, IL native and former captain of the UI Diving Team plans to coach diving and other sports and provide college counseling to Greek high school students.

Hometown: Burr Ridge, Illinois (Western suburb of Chicago)

Degree and field of study: B.A. in elementary education (University of Iowa)

What will be the focus of your teaching?

I will be an ETA in Greece working at the Hellenic American Educational Foundation. I plan on teaching English to elementary or middle school students. I would like to work with the Forensics (speech team) program after school as well as get involved with the summer camps offered through the school in June and July.

What drew you to this field of study?

I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. I am currently a middle school math teacher at St. Vincent-Ferrer in River Forest, IL. I love working with children. Outside of school, I am a diving coach for Wheaton Swim and Dive Club. I coach kids ranging in age from 5 years old to 18 years old.

How do you see this Fulbright grant advancing your work?

I know this will be an experience of a lifetime. I am excited to compare the educational system in Greece to that in America. I will use my experience in Greece to benefit my future students once I return home.

How do you envision this will change your life?

While I was a student at the University of Iowa, I was also a part of the diving team. Because of this commitment, I never had the opportunity to study abroad and learn about the world beyond America. Going abroad has always been a dream of mine. This award affords me the opportunity to not only teach, but also travel. I am thrilled I will be able to combine my passion for teaching with my desire to experience other cultures.

Would you have any advice for future students interested in pursuing a Fulbright?

My advice for students interested in pursuing a Fulbright is to listen to Karen's advice and all that she recommends you to do to be a better candidate! You may become overwhelmed, however, it is well worth taking her advice to heart! The University of Iowa has an ample amount of resources for you - take advantage of every one! Never lose sight of your dream!!

The highly competitive Fulbright Program, created by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, provides grants annually for international research and teaching in an effort to foster global partnership and cultural exchange. For more information on applying for a Fulbright through the University of Iowa, visit our Fulbright page.