Student Profile: Laura Schroeder ’14
April 25, 2014
Laura Schroeder ’14
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Can you describe your Fulbright award, where you will be traveling, and what you’ll be doing while you’re there?
I will be teaching English at the Universidad de Boyacá in the mountain town of Tunja, Colombia, where one of every five residents is a university student. While in Tunja, I will also engage in a community project dealing with environmental sustainability.
What drew you to studying a foreign language? What excites you about the idea of teaching English in the country you have been placed?
To me, languages are windows to fascinating and different ways of viewing the world, and learning a new language both gives us a glimpse through these windows and allows us to interact with those on the other end. I’ve taken Chinese and Spanish at Lewis & Clark and have consequently seen my horizons broaden. I hope to help my students experience the thrill of feeling the world simultaneously expand and become more familiar that comes with language learning.
Have you participated in any study abroad trips during your time at Lewis & Clark? If so, what was that experience like?
I was fortunate to study in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for a semester during my time at Lewis & Clark. While in the D.R., I attended two Dominican universities and interned as an English and computer teacher at a living-wage garment factory. Along with dancing bachata and enjoying fresh mangoes, I became more independent and confident in my ability to connect with people from around the world and many walks of life.
How do you think your Lewis & Clark education has contributed to you seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?
From researching grassroots responses to flooding in Bangladesh to colony collapse disorder and urban beekeeping, my courses at Lewis & Clark have expanded my worldview. What’s more, attending lectures on everything from particle colliders to international security and volunteering in the Portland community has contributed to my sense of global citizenship.
What are your plans for the future, and how do you think your Fulbright experience will figure in those plans?
I plan to pursue a graduate degree in either public policy, sociology, or community organizing in the future. My goal is to research and analyze trends and policies that affect vulnerable populations in order to have more informed and inclusive decision-making processes. Skills used in teaching, such as conveying information effectively and collaborating with diverse groups, will also be central to this.
Any advice to share with other Lewis & Clark students applying for similar awards in the future?
To future and current Lewis & Clark students: Take advantage of every opportunity you can, and be passionate about what you do! The rest will follow.