How Studying Abroad Helped Me Receive a Fulbright Scholarship

Nelli Orozco ’17 always knew she wanted to be a Spanish teacher. She studied Spanish Education PK-12 while at Elizabethtown College and spent a year abroad in Valladolid, Spain. She has since received a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Spain.

While abroad, Nelli taught English twice a week at an elementary school and gave English lessons at an immigration center. These experiences inspired her to pursue teaching opportunities abroad.

After returning to the US, Nelli kept up her love for teaching by leading the Elizabethtown College’s children’s Spanish program.

She soon decided to apply to the Fulbright program. The Fulbright program is a prestigious merit-based grant and scholarship program. Students receiving a Fulbright receive an all-expenses paid, grant-funded graduate study, advanced research, or teaching experience abroad. By January 2017, Nelli had received news she was a semi-finalist for a Fulbright teaching opportunity in Spain.

While waiting to hear if she was selected, Nelli applied with the Teach for America (TFA) program to teach Spanish in a low-achieving school assigned by the program. She was offered a position at a school in Connecticut.

On March 16 2017 , Nelli received the news she had been selected as a Fulbright scholar recipient. After contacting TFA, they allowed her to defer her acceptance until she returns from Spain. She is excited to return to Spain and begin her professional career.

In September 2017, she left for La Rioja in northern Spain. She remained in La Rioja until June 2018, where she taught Spanish and English to community members. This area has a large concentration of Pakistani and South American immigrants.

Following her first-year on the Fulbright program, she was given the opportunity to extend her grant for another year. For her second year, she moved to the Canary Islands in Spain.

Congratulations Nelli!

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