Olivia Schwartzman ’16, a creative writing and art history double-major, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Taiwan.
“I chose to apply to Fulbright because I definitely wanted to live abroad after college. I also love teaching and was looking for a way to continue that interest,” she says. While she has never visited Taiwan, she says the semester she spent abroad in South India convinced her she would like to live in Asia again, and her classes at Oberlin interested her in Taiwan’s history and relationship with China.
Another reason Schwartzman chose Taiwan is the opportunity to immerse herself in a language she is passionate about learning. “I'm really excited to start learning Chinese and immerse myself in such an unfamiliar language. I feel like my brain stretches and my perspective shifts drastically when I am learning languages far from my mother tongue—I had the same experience learning Tamil during my semester abroad in India, and I really enjoyed the challenge,” she says.
The Los Angeles native says her time at Oberlin inspired her interest in teaching, and she appreciates all of the teaching opportunities she was given. While at Oberlin, she tutored with America Reads, worked as a creative writing teaching assistant, served as an art history writing associate, and was the print room assistant at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. She also spent time writing and editing for Wilder Voice.
Once her Fulbright ETA comes to an end, Schwartzman says she is considering graduate school and would like to continue studying Chinese, but nothing is set in stone. “I think this year will be full of transformations. It seems impossible to know right now how it will change me and my goals—and that is exciting! I see this opportunity more as the beginning of a path for me, not so much as a means to a concrete end goal,” she says.