Wednesday, April 17, 2024
student smiling

Wyatt Hellman, who will receive a BS in international relations and a BA in Asian languages and literatures from the University of Iowa in May 2024, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Taiwan for 2024-25. 

Hometown: Fort Madison, Iowa 
Degree: BS in international relations, BA in Asian languages and literatures (Chinese) 

Could you give us a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?   
I’ll be positioned somewhere in Taiwan to teach English to elementary or middle school students. I also intend to set up a board gaming club wherever I’m placed to facilitate the exchange of Western and Taiwanese board games. 

How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?  
My dream career has always been to work for the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer. Living in a foreign country and being able to practice my Mandarin speaking skills in a native environment will help prepare me for living abroad and communicating in local languages in my future career. Teaching English will help broaden my communication and public speaking skills. 

What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright?  
Use the tools at your disposal! International Programs has a wealth of past successful and unsuccessful applications to help you build a compelling application for any Fulbright grant. Often, they can put you in contact with previous applicants or application materials. Also, beginning the application is less about quality and more about getting it done. It’s much easier to write a mediocre paper that contains all the ideas you want to express and edit it into a perfect paper than it is to write the perfect paper from the beginning. 

Were there experiences at Iowa that inspired you to pursue a Fulbright 
As far as I can tell, my first experience with the Fulbright program was due to an assignment I had my very first semester of college requiring me to interview someone in my chosen intended career field, who happened to be a former Fulbright teacher in Austria. As far back as a discussion post on December 10, 2020, I wrote, “I intend to pursue the English Teaching Award to practice both my teaching and Mandarin skills in Taiwan.” 

Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?  
Absolutely. First, I’d like to thank the Fulbright committee, Ari Natarina, and Dr. Karen Wachsmuth, for their support and patience throughout the application process. I’d also like to thank Ambassador Ronald McMullen, who provided me with career guidance and knowledge that led me to pursue the Fulbright award. I’d like to thank Dr. Justin Cosner and Justin Ford, who both helped me with aspects of my application. Finally, I’d like to give a special thank you to Ernest Schiller of Donnellson, Iowa, who inspired me to pursue my dreams by believing in me when no one else did.  



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.