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Student Profile: Maya Gold ’14

April 15, 2014

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Maya Gold ’14

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Can you describe your Fulbright award, where you will be traveling, and what you’ll be doing while you’re there?

I’ll be at a university in Turkey, teaching English to people roughly my own age! I don’t know what city I’ll be in yet, but I’ll be at one of the host of Turkish universities that have been built in the last decade or so. 

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 really, truly adore English—I love the idea of watching people learn the intricacies of my native tongue, and guiding them through the weird and wonderful quirks that make my language so unique.

Have you participated in any study abroad trips during your time at Lewis & Clark? If so, what was that experience like?

I studied abroad in London as part of the psychology program in the spring of my junior year. I loved it—I made some of my best friends through the program, fell in love with London’s tube system, and learned so much about the world across the pond. I talked with everyone from kayaking engineering students to staunch liberal Democrats, from Australian hostel-goers to Afghani shop owners, and I learned how much I loved meeting and connecting to people from a culture not my own.

As someone who had never spent an appreciable amount of time outside the country, it also sparked the travel bug in me something fierce. After the program finished, my friend and I did a Europe 101 trip, which only further convinced me that I wanted to spend more time abroad, especially in a country that’s vastly culturally different from the United States.

How do you think your Lewis & Clark education has contributed to you seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?

Lewis & Clark has taught me to never be complicit in complacency. Moreover, it has taught me the fundamentals of humanity, those that transcend every arbitrary country line.

What are your plans for the future, and how do you think your Fulbright experience will figure in those plans (graduate school, travel, future careers, etc?)

I plan to go into public policy or political activism. Immediately after the Fulbright, I’ll be a fellow with Environment America, working on environmental campaigns. I think my Fulbright experience will be incredibly important in expanding my world view and resourcefulness, both of which are essential to success in my chosen field.

Any advice to share with other Lewis & Clark students applying for similar awards in the future?

Take advantage of the robust Academic English Studies (AES) department on campus. If you want to teach English abroad, you should teach English here! AES hires Lewis & Clark students as tutors; additionally, if you have work study, you can be a teaching assistant in AES classrooms. 

Is there anything else you’d like to say to future Lewis & Clark students?

Figure out what you love and do it. Seriously. You didn’t go to a liberal arts college to make the big bucks, so you may as well use this unique period of time to figure out your passions, and use the incredible resource that is Lewis & Clark to pursue them with all you’ve got.

Political Science