Alumna Receives Fulbright Award to Colombia

by Christina O'Connell | Aug 01, 2019

Mary CarperFor the next 10 months Mary Carper ’18, will be continuing her teaching career and passion for traveling in South America. Carper, a biology and Spanish major, received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Colombia from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

“I found myself teaching abroad as a volunteer in Ecuador and a volunteer in Sevilla, Spain, during my junior year. I wanted to teach abroad again, and I also wanted to get more concrete experience in the classroom to find out if I really wanted to be a teacher,” Carper said.

During her senior year, Carper spent 10 months in the northern region of Asterias in Spain as a language assistant teaching communication, speaking classes, and Cambridge exam preparation for students from 3-16 years old. She also taught private students in the evenings as part of the Meddeas program.  

Now with the Fulbright Scholarship, Carper will spend another ten months in Colombia working with college students studying to be English teachers.

“The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program is designed to bridge cultural gaps between countries. Since my students will already have an advanced level of English, we can learn more about American culture and the applications of English in the workforce and in their daily lives. I love to travel, and I've been to 20 countries, so I love to bring these cultural exchanges into the classroom and help students see how learning another language can be so advantageous in their lives,” Carper said.

While at Marian, Carper’s involvement in the Sam Damiano program helped strengthen her interest in service and social justice issues that she plans on bringing to Colombia.

“I think my involvement as a San Dam and being a leader for STARR, RISING, and Alternative Break (Guatemala) really helped me focus on issues outside of campus and learn about social justice issues in the world and how I can respond in solidarity. Those involvements were the initial push to get me interested. I wanted to help other Marian students get involved in these issues, too,” Carper said. “Being a San Dam helped me realize my leadership abilities and how to put them to use both on and off campus, such as when I carried out my sophomore service project. Service was such a big part of my life when I was in college so naturally I want to continue to serve abroad”

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