Andrew Agrippina–Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (Spain)
Name: Andrew Agrippina
Class Year: 2019
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Major(s): Business Administration
Minors or Concentrations: Creative Writing
Opportunity and Year: Fulbright Program for U.S. Students, 2019-20
Project Summary: This Fulbright award is a year-long English Teaching Assistantship
How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? My liberal arts education at W&L has made this opportunity available to me. In high school, I studied Latin and Ancient Greek. I entered college tentatively planning to fulfill my language requirement with Latin. However, during my Sophomore year, I was inspired to instead take Spanish because of my tutoring experience with a student whose parents did not speak English. I tutored at the student’s home each week and wanted to be able to communicate with his parents and help them learn English as well. I started at the lowest level of Spanish offered, taught by Professor Dick Kuettner, who inspired me to continue with the language beyond the curricular requirement. I immediately fell in love with Spanish, discovering a new and exciting passion. I threw myself into my Spanish studies and pursued Educational coursework as well, in order to learn more about language instruction and acquisition. As a Business Administration major, I would not have had the chance to pursue these studies without the liberal arts focus at W&L and guidance from my mentors. Professor Kuettner also introduced me to a volunteer teaching opportunity through Languages for Rockbridge and I gained firsthand experience teaching Spanish classes at a local elementary school. Because of these experiences, I have gained confidence in my Spanish speaking and teaching skills and am thrilled by the opportunity to bring these to Spain through the Fulbright.
Why did you apply for this opportunity? I applied for the Fulbright in order to partake in a cultural exchange that can make a tangible impact. I have learned that language learning is critical to broadening one’s perspective and facilitating genuine cultural engagement, which is an important pursuit in our ever-globalizing world.
Post-graduation Plans: I accepted a job at a consulting firm in Washington, D.C. and they have deferred my full-time offer one year, so I am planning to return and work there after the Fulbright. In the long-term, I hope to make a positive impact on how language learning is approached in the United States, ideally working at the intersection of business and education to promote multilingualism.
How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? This opportunity will allow me to deeply engage with a culture different from my own and broaden my perspective through this cultural exchange.
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