APPLETON, WIS. — A study-abroad program in Argentina in 2007 provided Anna Hainze a taste of South American culture, but the Lawrence University senior from Whitefish Bay was looking for an opportunity to return and experience more.
That opportunity arrived in the mail recently when Hainze was named a Fulbright Scholar and awarded one of only three fellowships available in Venezuela. Beginning in September, Hainze will embark on a 10-month stay as a secondary school English teacher in either the capital city of Caracas, Maricaibo or Merida. Her city assignment will be finalized in late April.
“I had a positive experience in Argentina and when I investigated the Fulbright program, South America really appealed to me as a destination,” said Hainze, who will graduate in June with a major in Spanish and minors in Latin American studies, history and music. “I really enjoy teaching and thought this would be a great opportunity to see if that’s a career path I want to pursue.
“The fact that I’ve never been to Venezuela before makes this all the more exciting,” Hainze added. “It’s new territory for me. While I know what to expect and am looking forward to it, part of me is still a bit anxious.”
Hainze has served as a writing and Spanish tutor for the past three years in Lawrence’s Center for Teaching and Learning and volunteered as an after-school mentor for elementary-age students at Bruce Guadelupe School in Milwaukee while still in high school.
Unlike many Fulbright Scholar recipients who serve as language assistants, Hainze’s appointment will be a full-fledged teaching assignment with her own classroom.
“This will be much more of a teaching opportunity than some of the other Fulbright positions,” said Hainze. “I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes me. Hopefully, this experience will help show me where I want to go with my life.”
Hainze is the 10th Lawrence student since 2001 selected as a Fulbright Scholar.
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 300,000 American students, scholars and other professionals in more than 150 countries. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, professors and teachers. Thirty-seven Fulbright alumni have earned Nobel Prizes.