Meghan Mette ’16, a history major and German minor, has been awarded a 10-month Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Germany.
Mette, whose paternal grandparents immigrated from Germany, applied for the fellowship for a few reasons. Firstly, she says it is her lifelong goal to become fluent in German. “I traveled to Germany for the first time the summer after high school and met all of my family over there. I really bonded with them and felt at home in the country,” she says. “I decided then that, at some point in my life, I wanted to live in Germany and be able to speak with my relatives in German.” Mette, who studied German in Berlin the summer after her sophomore year, says she is proficient but not yet fluent in the language.
Secondly, Mette says she hopes to gain more volunteer experience to help her pursue a career in social advocacy. “I interned at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., last summer and became interested in Holocaust education and human rights work, but advocacy work is a tough field to get into,” she says. “I’ll be spending just 12 hours a week teaching for my fellowship, so I’ll have a lot of free time to volunteer. I’d love to be able volunteer with the Syrian refugee crisis.”
The final reason Mette says she applied for the fellowship is because she greatly enjoys teaching and organizing curriculum. She gained experience in both of these areas as a tutor for lower-level German language courses and as a student major representative for the history department.
Mette does not yet know the age of her students or in what city she will be teaching. She says if she could choose her placement, she would like to work in Hamburg, as the city is home to many of her relatives. Following her fellowship, she hopes to enter the workforce for a year before pursuing a master’s or law degree.
Mette encourages other students at Oberlin considering applying for fellowships and other awards to simply go for it. “I want other students to know that they should always apply,” she says. “Take chances.”
Mette will begin her fellowship in September.