Leah Bakely, 2016, History, Hispanic Literatures and Cultures
Next year, I’ll be assistant teaching English at a high school in Madrid through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship program.
What inspired me to apply for Fulbright? I studied abroad in Mexico spring of my junior year and didn’t want to come back to Wes (I actually strongly considered doing senior Fall there), so I figured if living abroad made me so happy, I might as well try to get funded to do it in the future. I also absolutely love being immersed in Spanish and I wanted another opportunity to continue learning the language.
I applied for Fulbright ETA specifically because, after sixteen years of school, I wanted a break from research, a break from sitting at a desk, but I still wanted to be able to travel. I also thoroughly enjoyed being a writing tutor at Wesleyan, particularly for ESL students, so I thought assistant teaching English would be a good way to to combine my interest in teaching ESL with my love of travel and need for a break from school. Lastly, I wanted to be in one place for the entire year and Fulbright offered me the opportunity to do that–and to choose the place.
As far as the application, condensing my entire life and all my aspirations into two pages and carving out the time to work on the application during the very busy beginning of the semester was a difficult process. For students wishing to apply to Fulbright or to a similar fellowship, I offer the following advice:
1) Start working on your essays early (like in August)!!
2) Take your essays to the writing workshop. A writing tutor was the only reason I was able to condense my second essay into one page.
3) Get as many people to edit your essays as you can; the more drafts you go through, the better.
Best of luck!