International studies major and Spanish minor Julia Tallant ‘20 has been named a Fulbright alternate to Columbia. These candidates can be promoted to finalist status if additional funding becomes available.

Tallant notes:

“I am interested in Colombia because it intersects with my academic interest in peace studies and because Colombia is the only Latin American country actively grappling with how to build a sustainable peace after the deal with FARC in 2017.

“I became interested in teaching in Colombia because of the National Bilingual Education Program. I believe that English is an empowering tool that opens up a new world of opportunities that one would not otherwise have had.”

She adds:

“The summer after my freshman year of college, I stayed in a small town in northern Peru teaching photography classes to Peruvian teenagers. I taught those classes in Spanish, but I also helped the students practice their English during our sessions.

“A lot of the informal English lessons I gave revolved around music. During that summer, several English remixes of Spanish reggaeton songs were released, and after class was over, we would sit around drinking mango juice, listening to them, and discussing how they were translated.

“As a Spanish tutor at my university since my sophomore year of college, I have learned to find each student’s style. For example, I had one tutee who was a visual learner, so I used whiteboard markers in different colors to write out sentences and show her how the different parts of the sentence were interacting with each other.

“When I was studying abroad in Santiago, Chile, I was part of a language exchange in which I met with a Chilean university student every week. I helped her with her English, and she helped me with my Spanish. Through this program, I was able to help her understand colloquial English better, and she helped me improve my grammar.

“I plan to pursue my master’s degree and Ph.D in Peace Studies with the eventual goal of working in research and academia.”

April 28, 2020