APPLETON, WIS. — Ever since returning from a 2006 study-abroad program in Vienna, Lawrence University senior Katie Gladych has been thinking about how she could return to Austria. The Austrian-American Educational Commission provided the answer.
Gladych became the third Lawrence student this spring to be named a 2008-09 Fulbright Scholar to teach English abroad. She was awarded a $15,400 fellowship for an assistant teaching position at a preparatory school in Vienna beginning Oct. 1 following a week of orientation. Gladych could be assigned students anywhere from fifth through 12th grade.
A German and government major from Evanston, Ill., Gladych made her first trip to Europe in the fall of 2006, spending four months on the Institute for the International Education of Students program in Vienna.
“That was such a wonderful experience, it really motivated me to look for opportunities to go back,” said Gladych, who will also facilitate cultural exchanges while on her fellowship.
Earlier this spring, Gladych spent 10 days in Berlin, exploring the German city’s rich history and architecture through daily walking tours as part of a class. Vienna’s own rich history was a siren call when she applied for the Fulbright Fellowship.
“I didn’t have the time to fully explore everything I wanted to when I was there the first time,” said Gladych, who started out as a music major at Lawrence. “I really wanted to go back to learn more about the city and its people. Plus, Vienna has such a great music history, I’m excited about exploring some possible singing opportunities while I’m there.”
Gladych, who serves as a German tutor in the Center for Teaching and Learning and has participated in Lawrence’s Model U.N. and mock trial team programs, says she’s excited about the opportunities the fellowship will offer.
“I’m looking forward to increasing my knowledge of Austrian society,” said Gladych, the fourth German major in the past three years to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. “Being totally immersed in German will certainly help my fluency. And I hope to meet a lot of interesting people.”
While her career ambitions are still fluid, Gladych says she might explore the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree in German or political science at the University of Vienna while on her fellowship or investigate internship opportunities with the United Nations office in Vienna.
Created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. Since its founding, it has supported opportunities for nearly 280,000 American students, scholars and other professionals in more than 155 countries. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, professors and teachers. Thirty-six Fulbright alumni have earned Nobel Prizes.