Margot Allscheid, who received a BA in elementary education from the University of Iowa in 2019, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Spain for 2020-21
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
Award: 2020-21 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Spain
Degree: BA elementary education, Spanish minor
Could you give me a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?
I will be a teaching assistant in the Canary Islands. For my supplementary project, I plan to volunteer with a local LGBTQ+ rights organization. One of my community engagement proposals is to start a dance group for students, or community members, to learn about various cultures through dance.
What drew you to this field of study?
I’ve always loved any job I’ve had that involves working with youth. Being a positive influence for the kids whose lives I am a part of motivates me. In college, I knew I needed to find a career that would allow me to continue working with young students. One of my first experiences with teaching was at a bilingual summer camp in Villamayor, Spain. This experience was what ultimately convinced me to pursue a BA in elementary education. After I was accepted into the College of Education, one of my teaching practicums took place at a dual language school. This was a really valuable experience for me and it solidified my interest in pursuing a way to serve youth who can benefit immensely from dual language instruction. Along with this, I find it rewarding and meaningful to participate in cultural exchange whenever possible. Most recently, both my mentor teachers from my student teaching semester, Chrissy Dastice and Alejandra Soto, have inspired me and have shown me what it means to be an outstanding educator. All these experiences have made me really look forward to having my own classroom one day.
How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?
After I return to the United States, I plan to continue teaching English learners, preferably in a dual language setting as a Spanish and English instructor. My objective is to prepare myself for teaching Spanish in the United States by first strengthening my Spanish skills while I am abroad and implementing the skills I acquire from my English Teaching Assistantship in Spain. Most importantly, I plan to use my fluency in Spanish to better connect with families and students who feel most comfortable communicating in Spanish.
What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright?
My advice is to be really genuine in your Fulbright application. Being authentic is your strength!
Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
I’d like to thank those who wrote recommendation letters, edited essays, evaluated my Spanish, and supported me on this journey: Mel Garcia, Robert van Deusen, Kathleen Priceman, Midge Jennings, Lisa Halm-Werner, Allison Reik, Hiba Jarmakani, my family, and Karen Wachsmuth and Marie Hoppe for all their expertise and guidance.
Students are encouraged to begin their funding searches and applications at least six months to one year in advance. Schedule an advising appointment with Karen Wachsmuth to discuss your interest in an international fellowship or begin an application (as a UI undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/us).