Living and working in Austria as an English teaching assistant helped to fortify my confidence in traveling and intensified my curiosity about other cultures. Since my experience, I promised myself that I would travel to at least one new country a year. I have now been to more than thirty countries (mostly Europe and Central/South America) and I'm on the way to Japan right now! My experiences at Fulbright Austria have also allowed me to contribute back to the US in very meaningful and far-reaching ways. I am a communications instructor at a community college in Indiana, and my time abroad has shaped my pedagogy to focus heavily on intercultural understanding. I am able to better connect with my international students and inspire my local students to become globally engaged. The lessons I learned from Fulbright Austria benefit not only me, but also the education of US students through my teaching.
Emily Brancel studied at Bowling Green State University, where she received a BA in communication and an MA in media and communication. She was a US teaching assistant in the 2016–17 school year. Photos courtesy of Emily Brancel.