Katherine Moncure, a sociology major with minors in Hispanic studies and creative writing, will spend a year in South Korea as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA).
Moncure says she initially intended to apply for a Fulbright fellowship in South America because she has been learning and speaking Spanish since junior high. However, at the suggestion of Nick Petzak, Oberlin’s fellowships advisor, she sought out South Korea for its well-established training program for teaching and language instruction. “I did some research on the country and I found the educational system and Korean culture really intriguing, so I decided to go for it,” she says.
She will find out exactly where she’ll be living and teaching during a six-week orientation this summer in Chungcheongbuk-do.
At Oberlin, Moncure has gained experience in teaching and study abroad. In spring 2015, she studied abroad in Córdoba, Spain, through PRESHCO (Programa de Estudios Hispánicos en Cordóba), and she has been a teacher with Oberlin’s Spanish in the Elementary Schools program. She has been studying Korean language since fall semester.
“I’m excited to live in a non-Western culture and gain a more global perspective in my life,” says Moncure, who is from New Canaan, Connecticut. “I find Korean dance and pop culture really fascinating as well, especially the way it has spread around the world, and I'm looking forward to experiencing that firsthand.”
Moncure likes to express herself through dance and movement, as she has been involved with ViBE Dance Company, a student-led dance group that specializes in tap and jazz, and Oberlin College Aerialists. She is also a member of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association.
After her Fulbright year, Moncure says she hopes to continue in a social science field, with the possibility of pursuing a research assistant position at a university or research institution. “Having spent a year in Asia will definitely help give me an international perspective on that. Receiving a Fulbright ETA means having the opportunity to not only to teach, but to live in a completely new environment and learn about how other cultures view the world. I know that it is definitely going to be challenging, but I am excited about what I will learn from the year.”