Wednesday, April 17, 2024
student smiling

William Jones, who received a BA in political science from the University of Iowa in August 2023, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Germany for 2024-25.  

Hometown: Council Bluffs, Iowa 
Degree: BA in political science  

Could you give us a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?  
I will be working as an English Teaching Assistant in a German classroom within the German state of Baden-Württemberg. In the classroom, I will help with English language instruction and provide cultural insight. At the same time, in the community, I will serve as a citizen diplomat for American culture as a whole.   

How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?  
This experience will help me prepare for the future in many ways. My dream is to work in the diplomatic field and this experience will help me develop my ability to communicate across cultural differences, age groups, and experiences. Additionally, as a student of the German language, it will provide me an opportunity to develop and fine-tune my language skills.   

What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright?  
My best advice is that it doesn’t hurt you to try and, if you can, start early.   

Were there experiences at the UI that inspired you to pursue a Fulbright?  
While at the University of Iowa, I took classes with Ambassador McMullen and Professor Jerzy Rubach, which made me aware of this opportunity and fomented my love of international relations. Additionally, being able to participate in a program like Academic Year in Freiburg (AYF) for my senior year helped solidify my interest and inspired me to make the formal commitment to apply.  Before my AYF experience, I had not been out of the United States. Through that time, I learned a lot about myself and my ability to live in a foreign country. In turn, it negated any trepidation I had about applying for a Fulbright ETA Grant. Through this experience, I learned how to embrace being a fish out of water and begin a lifetime of exploring new places. 

Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?    
There are many people I should thank. Firstly, Karen Wachsmuth and Ari Natarina for their help with my application. Ambassador Ronald McMullen, Professor Marc Kleijwegt, and Pastor Sarah Goettsch for their recommendations and mentorship. I would like to thank Professor Brian Lai and the entire UI Department of Political Science for the opportunities they’ve given me. I'd also like to thank the German department, particularly Professors Glenn Ehrstine and Michael Swellander. Finally, thank you to Ulrich Struve and the AYF team for helping me know that I could step out of my comfort zone with an opportunity like this, and to my friends and family for their constant support. 



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.