Senior Profile: Molli Bauke ’13
May 17, 2013
Molli Bauke ’13
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Award: U.S. Teaching Assistant for the Austrian-American Education Commission, a branch of the Fulbright Program
Can you describe your Fulbright award, where you will be traveling, and what you’ll be doing while you’re there?
I will be a U.S. Teaching Assistant (USTA) for the Austrian-American Education Commission, which is a branch of the Fulbright Program. As a teaching assistant, I help with English language acquisition, as well as fostering a cross-cultural exchange between me and my students. Tasks include team teaching lessons, leading discussion groups, presenting lessons on aspects of American culture, and much more! There is one USTA per high school throughout Austria. I will be working in one of the largest high schools in Austria, located in a small town an hour (by bus) outside of Vienna; however, I will get to live in Vienna.
What drew you to studying a foreign language? What excites you about the idea of teaching English in the country you have been placed?
I have always wanted to become fluent in a foreign language. I was drawn to German since a majority of my family either lives in Germany or has German roots. I enjoyed my German classes because I wasn’t just learning the language, but also learning about a part of myself.
I am really excited to move to Austria and become fluent in the language. I think learning about Austrian culture and language is a top priority for me. However, I am also excited to teach my students about my culture. I hope that I can foster a better understanding of American culture and explain or eliminate some stereotypes of Americans. I also have a strong interest in pursuing a career in education, so I look forward to the chance to practice lesson design and learn from the teachers I will be working with.
Have you participated in any study abroad trips during your time at Lewis & Clark? If so, what was that experience like?
In the spring of my junior year, I participated in the New Zealand program and had a phenomenal time. The University of Victoria at Wellington (Vic) helped facilitate our program, which was biology focused. The professors from Vic were awesome. They all had varied backgrounds in science so we learned a lot. I learned about the evolutionary biology of the species in New Zealand, which was really special because I wouldn’t have had that chance without going there.
Besides studying biology, we also had time to engage with New Zealand culture. We learned about Maori cultures and history, as well as rugby. The experiences I had abroad took learning so far out of the classroom it was hard to tell where/when class ended. Go abroad if you get the chance!
How do you think your Lewis & Clark education has contributed to you seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?
Lewis & Clark makes it really hard not to notice the world around you. There are many avenues for discussion and engagement from talk about conservation in biology classes to language assistants in every language department and the overseas office…to name just a few! These experiences have helped me see being a global citizen as important and really fun.
What are your plans for the future, and how do you think your Fulbright experience will figure in those plans?
I am contemplating pursuing a career in education, so I think that this experience will help me get a better understanding of whether teaching is something that I enjoy, and will help me determine if I should enter graduate school for education. Right now, I just want to focus on the present moment. I am about to embark on an amazing journey that I am sure will shape my future path and I am excited to see where it takes me.
Any advice to share with other Lewis & Clark students applying for similar awards in the future?
Don’t be scared to apply! I have been turned down for awards and scholarships and it is a bummer when you don’t get something that you really wanted. But if you are able to rebound and pick yourself up again, you’ll only be stronger and more prepared for the next big thing. Plus, you might just get it, but you’ll never know without having the courage to apply.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to future Lewis & Clark students?
Even if you are 99 percent positive coming in as a first year student of what you want to major in, make sure to pause and take elective courses early in your academic career. These elective courses might spark an interest in you that you never knew you had, but if you take them too late then you might not know exactly where those interests could lead. You’ll have time to finish classes for your major later, but in your first two years, experiment!