Isabel Weaver ‘22 is planning to depart in late July to begin her English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Taiwan under the Fulbright US Student Program of the US Department of State.
“I am hoping to gain teaching experience, more cultural and linguistic knowledge surrounding Taiwan, and learn more about how to pursue translation or teaching careers in Asia,” said Weaver. “I am most looking forward to experiencing everything that Taiwan has to offer and learning the culture whilst building relationships with the students, fellow TAs, and local teachers, as well as studying Mandarin and Hokkien,” said Weaver.
This opportunity follows her work studying abroad in South Korea in spring 2022. Weaver credited Dr. Jonathan Skaff, director of the International Studies Program, for his time and support throughout the application process.
“When I was starting my college search and first met Dr. Skaff at the open house at Ship, he recognized and shared my interest in Asia and has been instrumental in informing me of various opportunities, helping with the application process, and encouraging me to pursue my study of Chinese,” said Weaver.
According to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website,“In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students and young professionals from all backgrounds. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research or teach English abroad.”
“My mission trip to Honduras in 2015 was the first experience I feel allowed me to experience the wonders of traveling and learning about other cultures firsthand,” said Weaver.
In 2022, she spent a semester in South Korea. “I was an assistant teacher for three English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, conducted Korean-English language exchanges, learned how to navigate a foreign country by myself, interpreted Korean for the people with whom I traveled, and was able to improve my role in a group dynamic while making lasting friendships,” said Weaver.
According to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website, “The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think.”
“I aspire to work as a translator or potentially teach English abroad, which would allow me to continue my passion for traveling. In my free time, I hope to continue learning as many languages as possible and learning to master various musical instruments,” Weaver added when asked about her future career goals.
Weaver is Ship’s eighth student/alumna to receive a Fulbright through the US Student Program since 2013. The university also boasts 20 Fulbright Scholars, making Ship the State System leader in Fulbright grants.
Hear from Isabel and other students in the International Studies Program.