Campus / News / April 18, 2012

With Fulbright, McKinstry headed to Germany

Senior Erin McKinstry is headed to Germany next year as one of the recipients of the Fulbright Fellowship for international study.

“For about 15 hours a week I will be helping teach English … most likely at a high school but it could be [at a] university or [with] younger kids too. The rest of the time I have to do an internship, if I want, or a project. I was thinking of taking some classes unofficially at a university if I want. It is up to me,” McKinstry said.

McKinstry’s knowledge and experience in Germany from her previous study abroad in Berlin both motivated her and gave her confidence to pursue this fellowship.

“I lived in Germany for about eight months last year. I studied abroad and did an internship, so I am really comfortable with the language, which I think is important. I love the culture,” McKinstry said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduating, so I thought it was a good option to travel and get more German experience. I don’t want to go to grad school right away or get a job. I’d like to get more language experience.”

McKinstry believes it is a good moment for her now to embark on this journey as she already has been able to get a taste of Germany and now she will be able to take this fellowship at full speed.

“The last time I was there I was still learning the language and being introduced to the culture. Now I’m more comfortable, so I can get more involved with the culture and live in Germany. Acquiring the skills to teach [English as a Second Language] is pretty valuable, something I might want to do later on,” McKinstry said.

Although McKinstry does not know yet where she will be living, she was able to select her top three states: Nordrhein-Westphalen, Niedersachsen and Hamburg.

McKinstry advises those who might be interested in the Fulbright Fellowship to start early and ask for help.

“I’d say start on the application in the summer because I didn’t know that, and I got back and the deadline is pretty soon. I’d start junior year, and get in contact with Dean [of the College Lawrence] Breitborde, because he is really great and helpful. Having a focus and a reason is really important; it can’t just be ‘I want to go to India because I always wanted to go.’ You should be familiar with that country already,” McKinstry said.

Carmen Vargas

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