Sarah Wilson ’23, a graduate student at Chapman University, has been selected for the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program (ETA) for the upcoming academic year. This program will take her to South Korea to teach English. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program aimed at fostering a greater mutual understanding between the citizens of the United States and individuals from other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as leadership in their chosen fields. Wilson’s Fulbright grant funds her experience, which includes living expenses, flights, and a monthly stipend.
Wilson, who graduated with a B.A. in English and minors in Leadership Studies and Secondary Education, is currently finishing up the MACI program at Chapman University, in which she will obtain her Master’s of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with three California teaching credentials. Wilson has had numerous on-campus leadership experiences that were valuable for her Fulbright application process. As a Chapman Ambassador, she served the university in high-profile events which translates to being a cross-cultural ambassador for Fulbright. She was also a co-chair of the Attallah Undergraduate Leadership Council and a part of the Chapman Provost Student Advisory Board and the Department of Residence Life and First Year Experience.
Wilson has always had a passion for teaching so when she found out about the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program through the Center for Undergraduate Excellence (CUE), she was immediately interested in the opportunity to teach in another country and to explore a part of her identity. Being half Korean, Wilson learned about her culture and heritage and noted an opportunity to explore female educational access and women’s education in South Korea. The Fulbright program will allow Wilson to dive deeper into this area. She explains, “Fulbright allows you to implement a project once you’re there. I plan on expanding female educational access by creating a writing and reading program to spread a positive impact.” Wilson is excited about the opportunity to immerse herself in a new community and gain a deeper understanding of Korean culture and traditions. As an educator, Wilson highlights the importance of cultural competence in creating an environment where every student feels accepted and valued, thereby enhancing their learning potential.
Not only will Fulbright expand Wilson’s knowledge and cultural skills to make her a better teacher, but it will also contribute to another career goal. “I want to work at an embassy or the Department of Education in Washington D.C. or Sacramento. Fulbright opens the door to educational and public policy, not just teaching.”
Being a recipient of the Fulbright grant is a significant achievement, and it is a testament to Wilson’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to her field. This prestigious award will provide her with the opportunity to teach and implement her own program and make a significant contribution to the field of education in South Korea. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors and look forward to seeing the results of her program in the coming years.