In the fall, senior Julia Sievert will leave for Germany to pursue an English teaching assistantship, thanks to the Fulbright Fellowship.
Sievert, along with fellow seniors Kathryn Frank and Erin McKinstry, received this prestigious award for the 2012-2013 school year. Fulbright scholars are given a living stipend, round trip airfare and their loans are deferred.
She heard about the program through the German program at Knox and attended the informational sessions, which are held annually by Dean of the College Lawrence Breitborde.
She looked into other international programs, in addition to the Fulbright, programs that she said were similar to the Peace Corps.
“I’d just like to go more places and be a part of more communities,” she said.
Sievert will be traveling to Germany to teach at what she anticipates will be the high school level. Though she is uncertain where she will be within the country, Fulbright scholars were permitted to select their top three German states and will ideally be placed somewhere within that region.
This will not be Sievert’s first time in Germany; she studied abroad at the University of Flensburg and then stayed for an internship in environmental education in Freiburg. Germany is “pretty advanced with sustainability,” according to Sievert, which helped capitalize on her interests as an Environmental Studies major and German minor.
The internship did not take place with a program, but predominately required independent living, which Sievert said prepared her for the Fulbright program. She spent 11 months in total in Germany during her first experience abroad and developed an interest in international study.
“It was a wonderful organization, it wasn’t particularly large, but it was a great working community,” Sievert said of the internship.
The internship and her prolonged stay helped her to forge close friendships, which she said was a definite benefit of returning to Germany. A desire to increase her understanding of the language and German society was also a draw. “I still have more that I can learn about the country and the people.”
Though Sievert feels Knox and her experiences abroad have prepared her well for the coming year, “We’ll see about the classroom setting. I wasn’t an ed. major. I feel like classroom settings are intimidating to most people.”
Regardless of where she’s placed, Sievert said she is excited to reconnect with old friends and engage in new experiences.
“Each community has their own specialty; it’s all about finding that niche,” she said.