UI student awarded Fulbright to teach English in Germany

Lauren Darby

Lauren Darby, a UI graduate with an M.A. in social studies education and winner of a 2016-17 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to Germany..

Lauren Darby, a UI graduate with an M.A. in social studies education, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to Germany for 2016-17. She plans to create a collaborative partnership between students of immigrant descent in Germany and first-generation American students in Iowa using video conferencing and social media. Darby was drawn to the ETA program because of her background in German history and language.

Hometown: Sharon, Massachusetts

Degree and field of study: M.A. in social studies education (University of Iowa), B.A. in International relations (Mount Holyoke College)

What will be the focus of your teaching?

I will be teaching English in a K-12 classroom.

What drew you to this field of study?

Because education is an important factor in our understandings of citizenship and identity, I wanted to study how different countries' educational systems operate and shape views on society and the nation (among other topics). While studying about education, I realized I wanted to be in the classroom myself.

How do you see this Fulbright grant advancing your work?

I hope to gain on-the-ground knowledge of how schools in Germany operate, while also improving my skills as a teacher working with English language learners.

Would you have any advice for future students interested in pursuing a Fulbright?

Listen to Karen, not only when she is providing feedback but also when she is being your cheerleader. There were many points at which she had greater confidence in me than I did, and I am so glad I followed through instead of second-guessing myself. Also, my writing buddies were wonderful - find a team of other Fulbright applicants and meet regularly. Doing so keeps you motivated, offers consistent support and feedback, and provides structure.

The highly competitive Fulbright Program, created by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, provides grants annually for international research and teaching in an effort to foster global partnership and cultural exchange. For more information on applying for a Fulbright through the University of Iowa, visit our Fulbright page.

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