Allison Lowe ’12 is one of 1,500 U.S. citizens awarded Fulbright Student Program awards this spring. She will spend the 2012-2013 academic year in South Korea, participating in the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program, which places new college graduates as English teaching assistants in schools or universities, where they increase foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States. They are integrated into the host community, which improves their own foreign language skills and knowledge of the host country.
In her application, Allison wrote, “Teaching in Korea would be an incomparable opportunity for me as a teacher, as a student of the English language, as a learner, and as a person who wants to experience more than she ever has.”
She chose to apply for the program because “teaching is what I do,” she said. In fact, when she returns from South Korea, she will begin a Ph.D. program in English literature at University of North Texas, preparing for her goal of becoming a professor of English.
Some of her inspiration and preparation for her future career came through an Austin College Lilly internship at a Montessori school in Sherman and observation in public schools through a course of the Austin Teacher Program.
And, as a teacher, she understands that continued learning is critical. “I also want to go to Korea not just to teach but to learn,” she said. “Just as I learned so much from my students in my previous teaching experiences, I’m sure my students in Korea will teach me an incredible amount about a place I have never been. I believe my contact with them will help me integrate more successfully, as they provide me insight to Korean cultures. As a history major as well as an English major, I know what things can happen when two cultures are brought together in peace. Usually both parties gain knowledge and understanding. When so many people came together on the Silk Road, an exchange of ideas flourished.”
Allison knows, too, that the experience will enhance her teaching skills. “Teaching English in Korea will help me become a better teacher in so many ways,” she said. “Teaching abroad will help me teach in American classrooms that are becoming more and more diversified. I am sure being put into a foreign country for a year will help me relate to my future students who may be trying to integrate within the United States.”
While teaching English, Allison hopes to learn to speak Korean as well, having started learning on her own. She also hopes to explore Korean Buddhism as well as the general culture and history of the Korean people. “I don’t want to be a tourist in Korea,” she said.” I want to experience it as Koreans do.”
2012 Magna Cum Laude Graduate
Majors: English and History, Honors in History
Grace Dupree Ridings Scholarship
Stephens International Studies Scholarship