Eleanor Hildebrandt, who will receive a BA in journalism and mass communication and BS in global health studies from the University of Iowa in May 2023, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Germany for 2023-24.
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Degree: BA, journalism and mass communication; BS, global health studies; German minor
Could you give us a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?
I will serve as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Germany from September 2023 to June 2024. Outside of the classroom, I will pursue an additional community project to share the English language focusing on American literature and storytelling.
How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?
The ETA position will increase my cultural competency which will be essential to my journalism career moving forward. Engaging with students of various backgrounds in the classroom will also assist in my pursuit of one day becoming a professor.
What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright?
Researching my options early and using the resources provided by the University of Iowa were essential parts of my Fulbright application. Dedicating your time to the process is also crucial in submitting the best personal statement and statement of grant purpose possible. Be patient as you receive feedback and be prepared to make changes. It is a long process, but it pays off.
Were there experiences at the UI that inspired you to pursue a Fulbright?
My time in the German department and improving my understanding of the language over the past four years played a large part in my decision to apply. I also worked as a honors writing fellow with students to improve their argumentative writing skills during my junior and senior years. It was there that I learned I wanted to pursue the field of education in some way.
My time in the journalism field and chasing stories of international interest for a variety of news outlets over the past four years also expanded my curiosity about living abroad. I am indebted to the professors who suggested I apply because I would not have pursued the Fulbright without their support.
Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
I would like to thank my parents and sisters—Barb, Ben, Emma, and Elena—as well as my close friends for their support throughout this process. Professor Rachel Young, Professor Bruce Nottingham-Spencer, Professor Melissa Tully, and Joe Bolkcom were indispensable in my Fulbright application and I cannot thank them enough for their assistance. Karen Wachsmuth and Ari Natarina from International Programs were patient with me through this process as they edited several drafts and pushed me to put together the best application I could. They are truly amazing at what they do. Additional thanks to Anna Newnum, Carol Severino, Emily Hill, Jen Wagner, Karmen Berger, and Meredith Gall for their contributions to my interest and application to the Fulbright program.
International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement. IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.