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Belmont Alumnae Awarded Fulbright, TAPIF Grants for Overseas Teaching

Recent graduates to serve in Ukraine, France

May 2013 Belmont University graduates Katie Godwin and Jill Barrett were recently awarded program grants for overseas teaching in Ukraine and France, respectively.

Godwin, an English and honors major and Russian minor from Huntsville, Ala., received an English Teaching Assistantship Fulbright grant to Ukraine to assist in teaching English in a university for the 2013-2014 academic year. Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

In addition to aiding with classroom lessons and activities, Godwin will be responsible for other English language-oriented projects, such as language labs or American culture seminars, for students and those in the community. In addition to receiving the Fulbright, Godwin has participated in the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (for Russian) in Kazan, Russia, volunteered as an English language instructor in Moscow with the Institute of Humanitarian Development and served as an English language teaching assistant in a bilingual primary school in Madrid, Spain.

Godwin said, “I applied for an ETA Fulbright grant because I am interested in pursuing a career in education research. I’m particularly interested in teaching abroad because participating in and observing foreign education systems will allow me to better understand the many methods and tools that can be used to approach the current issues facing our school systems. Furthermore, the Fulbright is an opportunity to promote cross-cultural understanding, which is an essential part of international education.”

JillBarrettJill Barrett, a  French/English double major, will be working with the Teaching Assistantship Program In France (TAPIF), a sister program to the Fulbright administered by the French Ministry of Education. A native of Franklin, Tenn., Barrett will be teaching English from late August through next May to middle and high schoolers in Excideuil, a small town in the south of France.

Barrett—who studied abroad in Angers, France during the spring semester of her sophomore year— said, “Basically, I get to serve as a sort of conversational guide and language facilitator. I have always had an affinity for the French culture, language and people… When I came home [from studying abroad in 2011], I knew that my time in France wasn’t quite over, and I started looking for ways to go back when I graduated. The TAPIF program was a great option, and thankfully, I was selected! In the long run, I’d love to get my master’s in French and teach it in some capacity. This experience will hopefully solidify my French language skills, while also giving me a little bit of insight into the culture and lifestyle.”