Amanda Medendorp ’19, a Hispanic studies and law and society double major, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Mexico.
Medendorp was drawn to this Fulbright opportunity to teach English in Mexico because of her previous experience in Spanish in the Elementary Schools (SITES), a program in which students teach introductory Spanish to students in grades K-2 at Oberlin’s Eastwood Elementary. She served as a grade-level coordinator for the program, which focuses on using immersive and interactive forms of language pedagogy to teach students.
“I am passionate about second language education and as an English Teaching Assistant in Mexico, I will be exploring just that,” says Medendorp. “I‘m a firm believer that you miss 100 percent of the chances you don‘t take. With the Fulbright, I figured I should take the chance; so I did.”
Medendorp hopes that her Fulbright experience will help her more deeply understand the relationship between Mexico and the United States.
“The biggest thing that Oberlin has taught me is the ability to listen and communicate with people who look and think differently than I do. This is exactly what I will be doing in Mexico. I hope to understand better the relationship Mexico has with the United States. My goal is not just to improve my Spanish-speaking abilities, but also to be a representative of the United States who encourages dialogue through being open-minded.’’
While at Oberlin, Chicago native and Posse Scholar Medendorp was involved in Student Union Board, serving as both chair and vice chair. She was also involved with the Latin dance group, Movimiento.
After her time in Mexico, Medendorp intends to return to her home city to work with the community, possibly with Spanish-speaking immigrants or at a Chicago Public School. She also aspires to attend law school to pursue civil rights law.
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