Fulbright Winner Heading Back to Germany

Courtesy of Claire McCallum
Courtesy of Claire McCallum

Claire McCallum ’22 isn’t sure exactly where she’ll end up in Germany as a Fulbright English teaching assistant, but the odds are good that she’ll land on her feet.

The environmental studies and German studies major knows she’ll be in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany and will work in a variety of schools that could include elementary, middle, secondary, or vocational schools. She’ll be there from September 2022 to June 2023.

“I’m really looking forward to this experience and what I’ll learn,” McCallum says.

Fulbright English teaching assistants work with local English teachers to instruct students ranging from kindergarten to college while acting as ambassadors for the United States.

Applying for the Fulbright award was an arduous process lasting months, McCallum says, so it was a relief to win after pouring so much effort and passion into it.

“I think that this experience will push me outside of my comfort zone a lot and allow me to grow in meaningful ways. I also think that the opportunity to meet people who come from different backgrounds and cultures will be a valuable experience for the rest of my life,” she says.

This won’t be McCallum’s first time in Germany: She participated in a study abroad program during Blocks 1 and 2 of her sophomore year and lived with a host family in Lüneburg, a small city in north-central Germany. She took courses with CC professors and classmates, and a German language course at the local university.

“The university had a lot of international students, and I really enjoyed getting to know people from around the world. Living with a German host family was very beneficial for my language skills, and I felt that I gained a really valuable cultural experience from that,” McCallum says.

Taking field trips to various cities and towns across the country gave her valuable insights into the people and language.

Combining environmental and German studies isn’t as odd as it might seem.

“Germany is a really innovative and leading country in sustainability, and being able to learn about German perspectives and practices concerning climate issues will be really valuable,” she says.

McCallum isn’t sure what she’ll do afterward but envisions herself working in international climate policy, sustainable development, or something similar.

Whatever she does, post-graduation and Fulbright, she’ll be grateful to the “amazing” German Department at CC for all the opportunities she’s had.

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