Grace Evans ’22 to go to Greenland to Teach English on Fulbright

One of the main things on Grace Evans’ mind when she applied for the Fulbright Program last fall was that she wanted to return to the Arctic. 

Her will to travel was instilled by her mother, who Evans said wasn’t able to travel much while growing up, prompting her to encourage her daughter to visit far-away places and embark on “intensive trips,” like backpacking Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains or living in the remote town of Ísafjörður, Iceland. 

So she applied for an award to teach English in Greenland, in part to get a “foot in the door” to that part of the world.

The moment she learned she was a finalist in mid-March, a shocked Evans broke the news to a close friend who was with her at the time, Harriet Wright, who also accompanied Evans in Iceland.

“It was really special being able to find that out while she was with me, because that was a huge reason why I applied in the first place,” says Evans, who is a member of the Class of ’22.  

Wright’s eyes welled with tears of joy, before she jumped into action, announcing her friend’s achievement to nearby strangers. 

After Evans was able to slow Wright’s roll, she called her parents. 

Evans said she’s never taught English before. Still, she has experience in teaching — much of which came from outdoor education like being a kayak guide and a ski instructor — but also from occasionally helping teach Spanish in local middle schools and working for nonprofits in science communication. 

“I have a pretty long history of teaching students and working with people,” she says. “I love working with people, so that aspect really excites me.”

Fulbright scholars in Greenland to teach English, Evans says, are typically sought for their knowledge as first-language speakers to help with conversation practice, as teaching assistants. 

Evans hopes that will be a two-way street, and that she’ll be able to pick up Greenlandic during her time there. 

Evans doesn’t know yet where exactly she’s headed, but regardless, is determined to make “local and international friends,” a skill she has a knack for given her self-described small-town upbringing in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

“A big mission of Fulbright is to also get involved with the community, so it’s teaching, but also cultural exchange between Americans and the countries they’re getting sent to,” she said. “I'm really stoked to just meet the community because in these really small, harsher-environment communities, that's so important.”

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