Katarina Newcamp, who will receive a BA in political science from the University of Iowa in May 2021, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Kosovo for 2021-22
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Award: 2021-22 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Kosovo
Degree: BA Political Science, minors in Spanish and German
Could you give me a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?
I'll be spending nine months as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) at a university in Kosovo. In addition to teaching and providing cultural context for English lessons, I will organize a community engagement project - I plan to start a triathlon club at the university where I am placed.
What drew you to this field of study?
I knew I wanted to apply for the Fulbright ETA grant when I was first introduced to the program in a seminar during my first semester at Iowa. The opportunity to not only travel to a country of my choosing but to be immersed in the culture and contribute, even in some small way, to the community appealed to me. Having grown up speaking two languages, English and German, I understand the immense benefits of learning another language. Having had the rewarding opportunity of teaching English to young children and teenagers, I am looking forward to the new challenge of teaching university students. I chose to apply to Kosovo both because of its strong relationship with Iowa and due to my interest in international peace and conflict resolution. I am looking forward to experiencing the culture and political landscape in such a young country.
"My experience in Kosovo will make me a more informed and experienced scholar and advocate for international peace."
How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?
My experience in Kosovo will make me a more informed and experienced scholar and advocate for international peace. After my Fulbright ETA grant, I plan to pursue graduate study and work in the field of international peace and conflict resolution.
What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright?
Seek out teaching experiences! Learning how to be an effective, patient, and creative teacher through tutoring and teaching experience will help you craft a better application and, ultimately, be a more qualified applicant. There are many opportunities to volunteer as an English teacher on campus, in the Iowa City community, or online.
Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
First, I would like to thank Dr. Karen Wachsmuth for her patient mentorship and enthusiasm, especially during the hectic application season this past year. Thank you to my professors and mentors in the political science and German departments - particularly Dr. Brian Lai, Ambassador Ronald McMullen, Dr. Nicholas Martini, and Dr. Glenn Ehrstine for their great advice and words of encouragement during the Fulbright application process and beyond. Finally, thank you to my friends and family who have supported me so much and continue to push me to follow my dreams!
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).