As a Fulbright ETA, this past year has been a tremendous growing experience for me.
The University of Madeira assigned me three different courses each semester and I gained invaluable experience as an educator. The makeup of my classes was unique, I taught traditional and non-traditional students from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, there were international students amongst my classes from different countries such as the Czech Republic, France and South Africa. The material in each course varied from basic English to advanced business English, however I had the opportunity to incorporate material about American culture during lectures.
The personal reward of having my own classes, exchanging cultural material and seeing my students grow academically were immeasurable, an experience that I will never forget.
My time spent outside the classroom was equally rewarding as well, I made important contacts and participated in many of the community activities Madeira has to offer.
In light of this experience, I strongly believe the Fulbright program assisted me to better establish my identity and role as a world citizen. I found it very difficult to leave Madeira because of the intimate time I spent with my students and colleagues. I feel that I’ve become a part of their community, and it has become a part of me.
I will forever be thankful to everyone involved in the Fulbright program for allowing me to have this life changing opportunity.
Jason Kim was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at University of Madeira, AY 2009/2010.