In preparing me for the Fulbright application, I am grateful for the generosity of the UNCG Fellowships Advising and Mentorship team. Having been recalled back to the United States just under two months into my abroad semester in Spain, I was searching for an opportunity to return. While in Spain, I remember how insecure I felt sitting in classrooms, walking down streets, and attempting to connect with my native colleagues. The most refreshing moments were when I grasped at bubbles of fluency and managed to sound like myself in Spanish.
Languages aren’t like other technical skills, they are also art in that they encapsulate parts of your inner landscape for the world to hold and appreciate. When you don’t know how to shape those parts, it feels like you yourself are trapped in a glass bottle where you can only mime your intentions. What you learn in the classroom prepares you to put some cracks in that bottle, but the experience is where that all becomes personally meaningful (and practical). You can’t ask for a better practical experience in LLC than time abroad. It becomes a journey inward and outward; to deepen your inner landscape and to develop practical skills.
I am glad for the opportunities afforded to me by the LLC, FAM, and other departments. I am enriched by the challenge presented by studying and living abroad, having been supported in my journey by several communities. When I return from Spain, I hope to pay forward some of these opportunities and support through service to my community and through my professional career!