Andrea Childs, who will receive a BA in English and English education from the University of Iowa in May 2022, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Bulgaria for 2022-23.
Hometown: North Liberty, Iowa
Award: 2022-23 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Bulgaria
Degree: BA, English/creative writing, English education
Could you give me a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?
I'll be going to Bulgaria to teach English as a second language to secondary students. I plan to do this via an exploration of American culture, so students will be more well-rounded in their English skills. I will also spend time working with these students in a writing club and hope to join and perform with a local choir!
What drew you to this field of study?
I've always loved studying English and decided in high school that I wanted to be an English teacher. Since then, I've added on an endorsement to also teach French! Learning a language and communicating with others is essential to being a good global citizen, and watching students grow as learners and people is the most fulfilling thing I've ever done.
How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?
This is really going to help me become a better teacher. Iowa has a growing population of English language learners (ELL) who may not speak the same languages as me. Spending time intensively teaching these students in Bulgaria will prepare me to help the ELL students in my future teaching positions. Furthermore, the fact that I can do this is something I will share with my future students, and I will encourage them to pursue opportunities to live and work abroad no matter what their background is.
"Learning a language and communicating with others is essential to being a good global citizen, and watching students grow as learners and people is the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. This is really going to help me become a better teacher."
What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright? or What experiences at the UI inspired you to pursue a Fulbright?
If it's something you're interested in and passionate about, do it. It never hurts to apply for something. Also, take every opportunity to have someone read over and give you feedback on your application materials. It will really help and be a lot less stressful for you!
Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
Of course, I'd like to thank Karen Wachsmuth for all her help in reading over my application materials and helping me make them the best they could be! I'd also like to thank Carolyn Colvin, Doris Witt, and Taylor Scudder for writing recommendations and serving as amazing mentors. Finally, I'd like to thank my parents for always believing in me and always being there for me as well.
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).