Abigail Weisse '20, Spanish grad and BHC Scholar, recently received a Fulbright grant. She plans to be an English teaching assistant helping in classrooms, conducting writing workshops and tutoring students at the University of Málaga. Abigail hopes to implement a program to assist Spanish university students in applying to graduate school in the United States to reciprocate the cross-cultural exchange between our two countries.

How did you achieve the Fulbright ETA award? What are some of the things you've been involved in that you think have helped you get to this point?

I’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences at UCF that have helped me get to this point. Working as an undergraduate writing consultant at the University Writing Center for the past three years helped me gain a lot of confidence in my writing and teaching abilities. Last spring, I also volunteered as a dual-language classroom assistant at Union Park Elementary School thanks to my Spanish minor, and my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate gave me the practical knowledge I needed to be confident in this application process. I was also lucky enough to study abroad in Spain for a month during this past summer, and I knew after that that I wanted to go back and stay for a longer period of time.

What is your long-term goal and how will this help you get there?

After Fulbright, I’m planning on coming back to the U.S. and applying to medical school. A huge goal of living in Spain for an extended period is to improve my Spanish fluency so that I can communicate more effectively with my future patients. More than that, I want to take what I learn about teaching, writing, and the humanities to the medical field and help doctors become more effective communicators in general.

What advice do you have for others interested in receiving the Fulbright?

It’s a really long application process, so make sure that you’re really passionate about the program and the country you’re applying to. If you’re applying to an ETA position, the TEFL certificate program at UCF is only four courses and helped me become a lot more confident in my teaching abilities, so I would definitely recommend doing that as well!

What are your favorite hobbies?

I love being outside, especially hiking and running! I ran my first marathon last month on my own because the official race had been cancelled due to quarantine. Before I leave Spain, I’m hoping to hike part of the Camino de Santiago, which is a series of pilgrimage routes that stretch across the entirety of Spain.