Student SpotlightLauren Hughes, who graduated in May 2009 with a major in International Studies and a minor in German, is one of only 14 Baylor students to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship since 2001. This scholarship allowed her to teach English in Germany during the 2008-09 academic year as part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) Program.
The ETA program places U.S. students as English teaching assistants in schools or universities overseas, improving foreign students' English language abilities and knowledge of the United States, while enhancing the Fulbright recipients' own language skills and knowledge of the host country. ETAs may also pursue individual study/research plans in addition to their teaching responsibilities.
"The Baylor faculty provides a supportive atmosphere for the students, and I am glad to say that I know most of the faculty for the BIC, International Studies, and German department by name."
Lauren said the Fulbright will allow her to serve as a cultural ambassador, while synthesizing her education, personal interests, work, and volunteer experiences into actual practice in the field of international education. "In combination with my knowledge of the German language, culture, and international studies, the Fulbright is an ideal step towards my specific trajectory of publishing culturally educational children's books and taking an active role in international education advocacy."
Lauren feels that Baylor faculty have helped provide her with a solid foundation from which to go out into the world. "The Baylor faculty provides a supportive atmosphere for the students, and I am glad to say that I know most of the faculty for the BIC [Baylor Interdisciplinary Core], International Studies, and German department by name. There are so many instances when Baylor faculty and staff really went out of their way to help me and to advise me on normal life challenges as well as career choices. The support system at the university is simply wonderful and the opportunities to grow as a person are worth the choice of attending a private university."
While at Baylor, Lauren studied abroad at the Goethe Institute in Germany, the Florence University of Arts in Italy, and in Southeast Asia with the Baylor in Thailand program. While studying in Thailand, she also traveled to Hong Kong and Cambodia. "While these experiences broadened my perspective on international education, my pedagogical interests were always focused on Germany," Hughes said. "Studying the German language and culture at Baylor has provided a good theoretical basis so that I will be able to adapt quickly to the realities which cannot be taught in a classroom. I also like working with and meeting new people, which is a necessity when teaching English as a foreign language."