Auburn University student awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Scholarship

Published: April 22, 2021 | Updated: July 26, 2021
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An Auburn University student has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship—a celebrated educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government—for the 2021-22 year.

Amelia Grace Hill will use her Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, or ETA, award to teach in Galicia, Spain, where she will live for nine months from September 2021 until June 2022.

“Amelia brings her community-based mindset and global perspective to this extraordinary opportunity,” said Tiffany Sippial, director of Auburn’s Honors College. “As an international representative for Auburn University, we wish her great success during her fellowship studies.”

Hill, of Hoover, Alabama, will graduate May 1 with dual bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and interdisciplinary studies, with emphases in business, office systems management and philosophy. A College of Liberal Arts and Honors College student, Hill has been heavily involved in a range of on-campus activities, from marching band to research lab assistant to Spanish Club president.

“I learned about Fulbright four years ago during my college search,” Hill said. “As an avid traveler and Spanish major, the prospect of spending a year abroad immediately captivated me, and I contacted Dr. Paul Harris, the former associate director for National Prestigious Scholarships, about applying during the second week of my freshman year.

“He appreciated my eagerness, but noted I didn’t have to start anything official until my junior year. Yes, I was a bit overenthusiastic, but having this goal in mind throughout my time at Auburn helped me prepare for the rigorous application process.”

According to Hill, she is “honored to have been selected as an English Teaching Assistant,” adding she is “thrilled to be living in such a linguistically diverse area.

“I’m particularly excited to live in Galicia. This area is unique in that over half the population speaks Galician, a Romance language closely related to Portuguese, so I will be learning some of that language while there, in addition to regularly speaking Spanish and teaching English. I’m a language nerd and plan to study Hispanic linguistics in graduate school post-Fulbright.”

Fulbright ETAs spend much of their time in classrooms abroad supporting the host country’s English language instruction. Program participants also contribute to the numerous learning benefits of hosting a native speaker in the classroom.

Fulbright Study/Research Award winners design their own projects and will typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education.

“I was ecstatic to learn of our selected student,” said Alex Sauer, scholarship and research coordinator for Auburn’s Honors College. “This young woman is an accomplished scholar who designed an amazing project and had awe-inspiring stories to tell.

“It was a pleasure to work with her, and I am so excited to hear about her Fulbright experience. I am so proud of what she has achieved here, and I know this award will help her to reach her ultimate career goals.”

The Fulbright Program is a flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Auburn students interested in more information or applying for a Fulbright Scholarship should contact Sauer at ras0046@auburn.edu.

(Written by Matthew Lamb)

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.