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Purpose of Award:
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award promotes mutual cultural understanding between representatives of the United States and the host country. Brandt will be teaching English at the University of Luxembourg.
How has Dickinson prepared you for your future?
Dickinson gave me a taste of the East Coast (I’d never even been to Pennsylvania before applying!), a well-rounded education and a large group of friends, faculty and staff who have encouraged me to be who I am today. Dickinson also has provided me with strong French and Italian language skills and a deep understanding of the various cultures that use those languages. I came to Dickinson in part because I knew Dickinson’s own study abroad programs were exactly what I needed in order to immerse myself in French and Italian culture. My year abroad in Bologna and Toulouse gave me the tools to navigate difficult linguistic situations, embrace life with host families and break out of my comfort zone in order to really understand new surroundings.
My favorite research experience with Dickinson was participating in the Mediterranean Migration Mosaic in the spring of 2016, taught by [Charles A. Dana] Professor [of Sociology] Susan Rose, [Associate] Professor [of Italian and Film Studies] Nicoletta Marini-Maio and Professor [of History] Marcelo Borges. Along with 10 other students in my cohort for the semester, I took a history course, sociology course and a film course all focusing on the history and current situation of migration in Italy. We spent a month interviewing immigrants who had lived in Italy for 30 years and others for 30 days as well as directors of nonprofits trying to help migrants, a U.N. official, a doctor from Lampedusa who was the only doctor on the island who would help the desperate migrants arriving on boats from northern Africa and Italian university students who were taking courses on immigration. I was pushed harder academically than ever before, all while learning more about the good and bad of humanity and the importance of competent language skills than I ever expected.
What are you most anticipating about your future?
I am most excited to make others as excited as I have always been about language! It may take a few years before I finally have my own classroom to teach French and Italian, but that’s okay because I have so much of my own learning to do first!
What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?
Perhaps this is cliché, but when I walked down the steps of Old West at Commencement, it was only then, in that moment, that I truly started to realize all of the wonderful skills and memories that Dickinson has offered me over the years. Leaving my Italian host family two days after Christmas to fly to France was one of the hardest, most tear-filled moments of my life. Somehow, Dickinson managed to find the perfect host family for me, and I still think about them every day! If I’m allowed to change the question a bit, I’d say that Bosler Hall was a defining building in my Dickinson experience. If you exclude my year abroad, I definitely had at least 75 percent of my classes in that building. It was truly my second home!
Published June 15, 2018