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2015 Fulbright Grant Awardee Michelle Chiarappa

Michelle Chiarappa

Michelle Chiarappa

Hometown: Centereach, NY
Program: TESOL – Undergraduate
Destination: Turkey
Grant type: English Teaching Assistantship

What is the goal of your Fulbright experience?
During my time as a Fulbright awardee, it is my goal to take full advantage of this transitional period of my life and career by gaining experience in my field of teaching English as a second language while immersing myself in a new and foreign culture. It is my hope that this cultural exchange will not only benefit my students in Turkey, but also inform my own teaching so that when I return, I will be able to carry this experience with me throughout my entire career. While abroad, I hope to fully dedicate myself to the cultural exchange aspect of the program, giving as much to the community as I take away from it.

What are you most excited about with your Fulbright grant?
Everything about this grant is exciting for me but I think the prospect of simply living and immersing myself in another country again is what I am most excited for. I had the time of my life during my study abroad semester in Florence, Italy, but I anticipate that this experience will be immeasurably more enriching since the program is so focused on cultural exchange, and since I won’t be surrounded with other Americans like myself this time around.

Is there any other thought or comment you’d like to share about your Fulbright plans or hopes?
So many people have asked me why I chose to apply to Turkey for my Fulbright, especially considering the current political climate surrounding the country. It was really purely by chance that I developed such an interest in the country, starting with the Linguistics department here at Stony Brook. After taking a Turkish linguistics class, I decided to pursue learning the language even further and participated in the STARTALK summer intensive Turkish language program. Thanks to my amazingly passionate teacher and classmates, my decision to apply to Turkey was solidified last summer, and I am nothing but thankful for all of the opportunities Stony Brook has provided me that have led me to the position I am in today. Also, I’d like to say thanks to my family and friends for their unwavering support through this entire process!

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