UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students and alumni are traveling around the world to conduct research, teach English, attend master's degree programs and more as part of the Fulbright Program, a highly sought-after international educational exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State. This essay was written by a Penn State Fulbright winner who has embarked on his Fulbright trip.
Nine Penn Staters have earned Fulbright awards for the 2017-18 academic year. For more information about applying for the program, visit the University Fellowships Office’s website.
About five months ago, I was still in the U.S., only able to imagine what my Fulbright experience in Malaysia would have in store for me. I pictured living in a lush, tropical place doing something similar to the assistant teaching job I held previously, with only the environment and people being different.
Now, as I approach the midway point of my grant period, I can safely say that many of the expectations that I had going into this position were off the mark. I’m excited and pleased to be able to say that, though, because it means that I have been facing countless new experiences, and had no way to predict what my time here would entail.
As an English Teaching Assistant (ETA), my time at school is largely spent co-teaching in a classroom setting. This can take the form of conducting one of my own lessons, helping run a fun activity, or supplementing what the co-teacher has planned by providing examples, pronunciation help, or offering input or ideas.