“By teaching English to Taiwanese students, I will have served them in giving them a new cultural perspective while growing in my own,” said Elizabeth Parker, an Austin College Class of 2021 summa cum laude graduate selected as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. “My goal as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Taiwan is to create a classroom in which my students can learn more about the world outside of their country. I want the students to feel empowered by the education they receive through my time as a Fulbright teacher.”
Elizabeth will head to Taiwan in August for a month-long training program, then be placed in a local school to teach English from September to June—and to serve as a U.S. ambassador, sharing her own culture and life in the U.S. with her students and those in her community.
She had planned to spend Spring Term 2020 in a Semester Abroad Program in Shanghai, China, but that didn’t happen due to the COVID outbreak. She was allowed to travel to Taiwan instead, planning for a semester there, but that too ended after only a month.
Just one month was powerful. She said the time in Taiwan changed her path, her political science major’s international politics focus expanded to include the democratic growth and power of Taiwan. Her career plans for a law degree have expanded to include a joint degree program in international affairs. Career-wise, she sees herself applying her degrees in a government or international agency.
An immediate goal, however, was to return to Taiwan with the Fulbright program as an ETA. She received notice of the appointment in April. Now, she’s almost there.
“I cannot wait to see what this time in the classroom challenges and inspires me with,” Elizabeth said. “By becoming a part of a new community in Taiwan, I hope to see my world shift again and carry that with me throughout my career and the rest of my life.”
“My overall goal for my time as an English Teaching Assistant is to expand my knowledge of Taiwan while displaying American culture for my students,” Elizabeth said. “If I can show them that cultural education can be passionate, insightful, and exciting, then I can help them become global citizens. I want to give them a life-changing educational experience.”
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. Related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA), Austin College cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. The College, founded in 1849, is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.