Highlighting our Grads: Senior selected for scholarship in Bulgaria

UT senior Avery Dobbs was chosen as a recipient for the Fulbright International Scholarship, where she will teach English as a second language to high school students in Bulgaria for an academic year. When asked what made Dobbs want to apply for this scholarship, Dobbs said that working with “multi-cultural communities” is something she has always been interested in. Dobbs has already gained experience teaching English as a second language through Bridge Refugee Services, and after getting involved with Amnesty International when she first arrived to UT, Dobbs has chosen to take a year off between undergraduate and law school to expand her English teaching experiences.

UT senior Avery Dobbs was chosen for the 2014-2015 Fulbright International Scholarship, where she will teach high school English in Bulgaria for a year.

“I’ve always been interested in learning about different cultures and communicating with people,” Dobbs said about wanting to teach abroad.

“My mother is an immigration attorney,” said Dobbs, “so I grew up surrounded by multi-cultural communities.” Dobbs said that she plans on going to law school, but is going to take a year off to work the program.

Dobbs said she first heard about the scholarship from a co-worker over the summer, who told her that Fulbright was the best program for teaching English.

“I applied thinking it was a long shot because it’s a big, national scholarship,” Dobbs said about the shock she experienced when she heard she was a finalist.

Dobbs joined Amnesty International and volunteered with Bridge Refugee Services when she first arrived at UT. She gained experience teaching English as a second language through her volunteer work.

She was assigned to teach a family of five who emigrated to Knoxville from Turkey. The family has two high school aged kids that Dobbs met with twice a week to help with homework.

Dobbs said that she received the most help from the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSAF). “I started meeting with directors of the program in Aug.,” said Dobbs, “and they told me what I needed to do for the application, and helped me come up with ideas for my application essay.”

She will depart for Bulgaria in Sept. and attend a two-week orientation before the academic year begins. “My main goal aside from teaching,” said Dobbs, “is I want to learn the language, and I want to explore as much as I can, go around the country, and learn as much as I can about Bulgaria.”

Students interested in scholarships for teaching abroad should contact ONSAF. “Their purpose is to help students find scholarships,” said Dobbs, “and there is always someone to go talk to and to get advice.”

 

Edited by Nichole Stevens