Elsa Friedmann ’24 Earns Fulbright to Germany

The English and history double major plans to teach in a school in Hamburg.

July 3, 2024

Communications Staff

Elsa Friedmann
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Elsa Friedmann ’24 has earned a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Germany for the 2024-2025 academic year, which is giving her the opportunity to teach English in Hamburg.

“I'm most excited to work on my German language skills, get to know Hamburg, and get involved with new communities,” says the English and history double major from Livermore, California.

How did Oberlin influence you to pursue the Fulbright?

The Writing Associates Program was particularly influential in my decision to pursue a Fulbright. My work as a writing associate sparked an interest in how people communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers, which in turn led me to English language teaching and strengthened my desire to live abroad.

How does pursuing the Fulbright align with your post-college life and career goals? 

Long-term, I want to pursue a career in public arts education, but I'm not entirely certain what shape I'd like that to take! I'm most interested in how major arts institutions connect to broad audiences, [and] in particular how museums can be made more accessible to audiences from a variety of language and cultural backgrounds. Pursuing the Fulbright gives me a chance to engage with diverse communities in a new environment and gain experience communicating across linguistic and cultural barriers. These experiences will inform the public arts engagement work I hope to pursue going forward.

What’s the best advice you’ve received from your Oberlin faculty mentors? 

I have been lucky enough to have many mentors during my time at Oberlin, including Ellen Wurtzel and Wendy Beth Hyman in the history and English departments, respectively, and Laurie McMillin, who directs the Writing Associates Program.

I don't have any one piece of advice that's been particularly influential, but I have a few favorite lessons I've learned from my professors and peers during my time here. One is to discover new pathways by really assessing what I know and don't know, and intentionally seeking out the latter. Another is to understand where my instincts come from—and with that understanding, to trust them.

Activities Elsa was involved in at Oberlin: The Writing Associates Program; the Experimental College (ExCo); major representative and research assistant for the English department.

If you’re a rising or graduating senior interested in Fulbright, connect with Fellowships & Awards to learn more about pursuing research or an arts project, obtaining a graduate degree, or teaching English in a foreign country of your choice following graduation.

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