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Hannah Falchuk–Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to the Slovak Republic

Name: Hannah Falchuk

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Hockessin, DE

Major(s): Politics

Minors or Concentrations: Poverty and Human Capability Studies

Opportunity and Year: Fulbright Program for U.S. Students, 2018-19

Project Summary: I will be teaching English at a high school in a small Slovak town. I also have spoken with my host school about starting an after-school language club that would involve books, movies, and acting. I want to become involved in existing programs that help the Roma community in the town, and I am still exploring the best ways to do that.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? Come application time, my W&L mentors, especially Dr. Jonathan Eastwood, were invaluable in offering feedback and critiques for my essays (which took many, many drafts to complete).

I received two W&L grants to finance a summer internship in Slovakia just before I applied. Of course, this summer experience provided ample essay material and gave me a great deal of social and political context about the country I was asking the Fulbright program to send me back to.

Being attentive, mindful, and aware during your experience abroad (especially if it’s in the country or language that you want to apply to) will pay off when you start writing your application.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? I wanted to return to Slovakia because I saw a lot of potential for the country’s development and for my personal development while living there. I felt a strong connection to the people I met and to the language, and I visited the towns where my maternal great-grandparents were born. I am also excited to be connected to a school, particularly one that specializes in arts and the humanities. Slovakia has a lot of bright young people who leave the country, largely because they feel hamstringed by the government’s corruption. I am eager to be learning from my students and colleagues at the same time that I can share with them.

Post-graduation Plans: I am going to use the fellowship time to figure that out! I may be working in an arts or publishing field, or in more anti-corruption and social justice spheres.

How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? I hope to use the time to take initiative in organizing creative activities for my students and for involving myself in the community. I will become involved in groups or programs that support the Roma community in the district, and I want to learn as much as I can about Roma inclusion in Slovakia.

Extracurricular Involvement:

Community Assistant at Sustainability House
Writing Center tutor
Campus Kitchens volunteer at The Manor at Natural Bridge
Compost Crew

Off-campus Experience:

Editorial intern at The Slovak Spectator in Bratislava, Slovakia
Spring Term Abroad literature and religion course in Ireland
Shepherd Intern at the Bowery Residents’ Committee
Washington Term Intern at the National Community Action Foundation
Project Manager with Bastogne Development Partners

Research Experience:

Poverty and Human Capability Studies capstone course

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