Last summer, at the end of my first week in Norway, one of my friends turned to me and said “Betsy you should consider teaching English. I know some programs you might be interested in.” I immediately laughed it off. I was NOT going to leave the country for a year after I graduated. I knew what I wanted to do: go to DC, find a job, work hard, maybe go to graduate school. It was a great plan…a plan that was not going to be changed by some teaching English abroad fantasy.
Throughout the summer though, I kept getting little nudges . Friends nagging me about it, meeting with a Fulbright program director, an email from a Luther professor recommending programs. So I gave in, I started looking into programs and into countries.
And in October of last year, I submitted my application for an English Teaching Assistantship with the Fulbright program in Ukraine. Halfway through January, I received word that I was a semi-finalist.
I am excited, and terrified, nervous, and ecstatic to report that this past Tuesday, I received word that I have been named a Fulbright Grantee in Ukraine next year. It has been a long process (8 months!) but I am beginning to realize that the process is just starting.
To my family, professors, and especially my friends thank you for pushing me to do this. I would not have started this process…let alone finish it without the encouragement, positivity, and love from each of you.
The day of my interview in February, a friend asked me what I would do if I went to Ukraine and hated it. It took me aback a little bit but then I immediately responded by saying “I’m not pretending it going to be easy. It’s going to be very difficult but I can learn and grow a lot and that is why I am doing this” Nothing has changed since I said that, I am excited but I am also terrified. It isn’t going to be easy but I am so excited for the challenge.
So bring it on.