Student Profile: Laura Burroughs ’14
Laura Burroughs ’14
Major: International Affairs, German Studies
Hometown: Everett, Washington
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 in a small town outside Graz, Austria. In high school, I stayed near there with a host family for two weeks, so I’m thrilled to return. Also, having studied abroad in Germany last year, I’m interested to experience Austria’s differences.
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 been learning German since I was a freshman in high school, and I honestly can’t say that at that point I imagined I’d be where I am now with it. What really got me engaged was learning about the different culture and the idea of traveling someplace new. I think that’s the best thing about learning a language, and why I’m excited to teach English abroad. Learning a language really is like a key to another part of the world. I also think that there are so many different ways to engage people in learning about a different culture and its language, whether it’s through film, food, sports, etc.
Have you participated in any study abroad trips during your time at Lewis & Clark? If so, what was that experience like?
My junior year I went abroad to Munich, Germany. Lewis & Clark has a yearlong program there, and because of the way the German university’s semesters worked, I ended up staying from September until the following August and travelled for a few weeks at the end. Living abroad in Germany for such a long amount of time was a great experience. By the end, it really felt like I was leaving a home.
I also think being abroad grants you a unique and valuable mindset. When you’re there, you really learn to live in the moment and value each experience. That’s something that you don’t often get to appreciate in the midst of everyday responsibilities at home.
How do you think your Lewis & Clark education has contributed to you seeing yourself as a citizen in a global community?
I think one of the best attributes of Lewis & Clark is its emphasis on studying abroad. I was given so much encouragement and support before and during my year in Munich.
I also always had a close relationship with Lewis & Clark’s language assistants, which definitely furthered my desire to go abroad and meet more people of different cultures.
What are your plans for the future, and how do you think your Fulbright experience will figure in those plans?
At this point, I have a few different paths I’m considering. In Germany, I taught English at a children’s camp, and at Lewis & Clark I’ve been a tutor for the Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB). I have really enjoyed these teaching experiences and am excited to see where this one may take me.
At the same time, I would like to continue to pursue international relations. I think that living abroad and understanding other countries firsthand adds a valuable perspective. I’m also very passionate about the development of women’s rights on a global scale, and education plays a big role in that movement. Ultimately, I’m hoping that I can find a way to integrate my different passions and interests into future career plans.
Any advice to share with other Lewis & Clark students applying for similar awards in the future?
My biggest piece of advice would be to apply in the first place. This is the best time in our lives to go live abroad and do programs like this, and I think it’s important to take advantage of that if it’s something you’re passionate about.