For spring graduate Peter Stern, a Fulbright fellowship to Greece was the perfect fit for his academic background and interests—it was just hiding in plain sight.
“I was drawn to Fulbright, and the Greece part came later,” explains Stern, a creative writing and cinema studies double major. A year ago, as he was looking ahead to post-grad life, Stern felt increasingly drawn to opportunities abroad. Like many in his class year, he didn’t get the chance to study away because of COVID, and he was growing eager to explore the world.
Stern says he applied to the Fulbright program in Athens College based on the suggestion from Fellowships and Awards Director Nick Petzak.
“I don't speak a second language, which ruled out many countries. Greece's program stood out to me because of its emphasis on teaching English literature, rather than just grammar, and for the large theater component as well. I've been involved in theater (acting, playwriting, and directing) my entire life, and felt that I could bring a unique advantage as an educator in both fields. I've also been drawn to the Greco-Roman world since childhood—I actually studied ancient Latin for all of middle and high school—and have taken a few Classics courses here at Oberlin as well. For all these reasons, Greece felt like the perfect fit.”
Stern will teach classes at a K-12 school from September 2022 through early July 2023. “Outside of the classroom, I'm looking forward to living in a way that is unfamiliar to me. I think I'll be spending a lot of free time outdoors exploring the islands and the historic landmarks that I've been studying since elementary school.”
Through the Creative Writing Program, Stern has been a teaching assistant for the 200-level course. He is also finishing his sixth semester as a PRSM (Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct) trainer, in which he has been responsible for leading two-hour workshops on consent and bystander intervention for first-year students. He says his combination of training and evaluating in creative writing classes combined with his role in PRSM have prepared him for the Fulbright.
A resident of Los Angeles, Stern plans to return to L.A. with the intent of breaking into the film industry.
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