The Fulbright Award
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Colombia is a grant that places US participants in university/post-secondary institutions throughout Colombia to assist with English language instruction and serve as cultural ambassadors for the US.
Tashi graduated with a BA in Language and Linguistics and a minor in Arabic. She was a member of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, a student worker in Memorial Dining Hall and the A&S Dean’s Office, and a tutor in Spanish, Arabic, and Linguistics. Through Baylor, she also had the opportunity to study abroad in Greece and Argentina.
Upon her return to the US, Tashi aspires to seek continued education and experience at the intersections of language, culture, and education.
More from Tashi
I heard about the Fulbright awards early on in my college career and it was always in the back of my mind that I would apply for one someday. I came to college with the goal of learning as much as I could about other languages, cultures, beliefs, and philosophies so that I could go out into the world and experience them, using all that I had learned and would continue to learn to connect and share with others. Studying or teaching abroad through Fulbright seemed like the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in another culture while also serving as a cultural ambassador for the US. At the end of 2020, I decided to take a chance and finally apply for a Fulbright ETA, hoping that the pandemic would be under control enough by the time I would leave for my grant in the summer of 2021. I found out during the Texas “Snowpocalypse” in February 2021 that I was not selected for the 2021-2022 Fulbright award. There was still so much going on in the world and while I was disappointed and took time to think over my goals, I ultimately decided that it had not been the right time and I would apply again for the 2022-2023 award. I revised my essays, added the credential of the TEFL certification that I had earned while waiting to hear back during the first application cycle, and submitted my application for the 2022-2023 English Teaching Assistantship to Colombia. In April of 2022, after nearly 6 long months of waiting, I found out that I was a finalist and that I was going to Colombia!
I am beyond excited to take this next step in my journey and to spend 10 months in Colombia helping teach English in a university or other post-secondary education institution. I chose to apply to the ETA specifically because I have been enjoying the “real world” work experience that I have gained since graduating in December 2018 and the ETA would allow me to develop hands-on teaching and classroom experience. I also wanted to pursue the ETA because it is an opportunity to give back to the community that I will be living in by helping students to develop fluency in a major world language with the help of a native speaker—something that was invaluable to me when I was studying Spanish in Argentina and which paved the way for opportunities such as this. I decided to apply to Colombia for many reasons among which were the higher education placements that are somewhat unique in the ETA program, the chance to immerse myself in a Spanish-speaking country to develop fluency in Spanish which will serve me in the US as much as it will abroad, and the opportunity to explore an incredibly culturally and ecologically diverse country that also happens to be the home of so many of my favorite Latin music artists.
For anyone who is considering applying for a Fulbright—whether you are a senior at Baylor, or an alum like me—I would definitely encourage you to give it a shot! There is so much support from the Office of Engaged Learning here at Baylor as well as from the broader Fulbright community. The process of applying is hard work, but it can be rewarding in itself and is also great practice for any future scholarship, graduate school, or job applications. Finally, if you apply for any award and are not selected the first time, don’t let that stop you from trying again; circumstances change, each application round is different, and it is a wonderful opportunity to think about how you have grown from one year to the next.
Feel free to contact me for advice about the Fulbright!