Amber Schaffer, an elementary education major from Manhattan, Kan., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Scholarship (ETA).
Schaffer, who graduated in May, will spend nine months in Brazil beginning in March 2014. She will be placed at one of the country’s 59 federal universities working with two faculty members and 10 teaching assistants -- two Fulbright ETAs and eight Brazilian English language graduate students -- teaching English to college students.
“I have always been interested in education and how it differs on the global spectrum, so working at a school in another country is the perfect way to learn more,” said Schaffer, who also holds a minor in Spanish and Hispanic studies. “I love studying and working with different cultures, and I am excited to take my experiences in Brazil back with me and incorporate them into my future classroom.”
Schaffer said the Fulbright is a fantastic opportunity for her to combine her many passions while helping others learn more about the United States and improve their English skills.
The ETA Scholarship is a part-time position and Schaffer said she plans to use her spare time to volunteer, teaching English in middle-school programs and working with younger children. She is no stranger to volunteering. While at Creighton she volunteered for many campus and off-campus related projects including the University’s Magis Ambassadors, a leadership organization that assists with various activities at the University. She was also active in the Freshman Leadership program and was named Freshmen Leadership Program Woman of the Year in 2010. She volunteered at several agencies in Omaha including Micah House, Respite Center and Precious Memories Daycare Center, to name just a few.
She knew that Creighton was going to be a good fit for her when she received a spot in the Freshman Leadership Program. “I was drawn to all of the opportunities that a small campus provided for me, such as the chance to get involved in numerous organizations, being able to hold leadership positions, and having professors who knew me by name. The fact that it was a Catholic Jesuit university was definitely a plus,” said Schaffer.
The University has been recognized three times as a top Fulbright producing institution. Since 2006, 10 Creighton students have been awarded Fulbright scholarships.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program was created by Congress in 1946, immediately after World War II. Former U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright sponsored the legislation, seeing the program as a step toward building international cooperation. The Fulbright program remains the largest international exchange program in the U.S., offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 7,500 new grants annually and operates its program in more than 155 countries.