Name: Grace Coleman
Hometown: Madison, WI
Type of Fulbright award: English Teaching Assistantship Award to the Czech Republic
Degree and field of study: BA international studies, music
Teaching: I will be teaching English to high school students at a music conservatory in the Ústí nad Labem region of the Czech Republic.
What drew you to this field of study?
My interest in international studies and European studies specifically was sparked in high school when I briefly traveled to Prague and other central European cities with my youth orchestra. My interest in European studies, music, and the intersection of the two only solidified over my time as a student at Iowa. In my application, my proposed community engagement project incorporated music but I did not expect to be placed in a music-specific school. I was overjoyed to learn that I will be able to continue and expand my love for music by teaching English at a music conservatory where my students will have the same passion for music that I do.
How do you envision this will change your life?
Living and teaching in a new city in another country will give me the opportunity for immense personal growth and will undoubtedly change my perspective on the world and my place in it. I'm excited for the chance to build relationships with my students and coworkers and to expand my knowledge of Czech language and culture.
What advice do you have for future students interested in pursuing a Fulbright award?
Definitely take advantage of all of the resources, workshops, and events Karen and the Fulbright mentors offer. The long process and many rough drafts may seem intimidating, but all of the time the faculty puts into helping you will strengthen your application immeasurably.
Are there any individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
University of Iowa professors and International Programs staff have been immensely helpful in strengthening my application and supporting and encouraging me throughout the whole application process. I'd like to thank Fulbright Program advisor Karen Wachsmuth, Sonja Mayrhofer, and Bill Reisinger for helping edit my application; Aubree Compton, Trevor Harvey, and Elke Heckner for writing recommendations; Jitka Sonkova for writing my language evaluation; and Karmen Berger, my international studies advisor, and Oleg Timofeyev, my senior thesis advisor for providing me advice and encouraging me to apply.