Emily Seibert ’14 received her best 22nd birthday present the day before her actual March 27 birthday: She was chosen for a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to live and work in Athens, Greece, for 10 months.

DSC_0372She’ll leave in September and be one of a dozen Americans in the Fulbright program who will teach English and American culture to students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

“I was very surprised and very honored,” said Seibert, the sixth Fulbright recipient from Butler in the past four years. “I didn’t fully know how to react because I never expected it to become a reality.”

Seibert, an elementary education major from Valparaiso, Indiana, said she had planned to start the job-search process in Indianapolis for a teaching position at the elementary-school level. Then she saw a notice in the Butler Connection—the daily email that goes to students, faculty, and staff—about applying for a Fulbright.

“It put together three of the passions I’ve enhanced at Butler; my love for teaching and my love for kids, my passion for serving others and my new-found love of experiencing different cultures found through my study abroad experience,” she said.

She talked to Rusty Jones, Interim Associate Director of Butler’s Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, and he helped her start the application process and edit her essays. Jones also organized a Fulbright campus committee interview and wrote her institutional endorsement.

The opportunity to participate in the program in Greece thrilled her because it has no requirement that participants speak a foreign language fluently (Seibert doesn’t) and because she’ll be there with other Fulbright recipients, working collaboratively.

Seibert said she still plans to teach—most likely in Indianapolis—when her Fulbright ends in July 2015. But for now, she’s looking forward to “experiencing education in the world, seeing all the different aspects of what education looks like across the globe. This is a great opportunity to see a different side of education and to bring what I’ve learned at Butler to another part of the world.”

Media contact:
Marc Allan