Fulbright Scholarship Winner Will Teach and Research in Vietnam
As a philosophy major, Nebraska Wesleyan University graduate Nicole Spry knows its second nature for her to question and consume information.
In fact, she quickly points out that the word philosophy means “love of wisdom.”
“I believe that in order to be a productive global citizen I need to acquire as much wisdom as possible,” she said.
So she’s packing her bags and moving to Vietnam thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship that will provide her the opportunity to acquire more wisdom and ultimately share it with others in an attempt to bring understanding to things different and unknown.
Spry is the second Nebraska Wesleyan University student to win a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship this year. The Fulbright is the flagship international education program sponsored by the U.S. government. Students are selected based on academic merit and leadership potential.
Spry’s Fulbright makes it possible for her to teach English at a Vietnamese university. In addition, she plans to study cultural traditions such as cooking and explore the country’s strong cultural connection to agriculture. She’ll use this research to teach vocabulary about nature and the way the land is used while encouraging her students to discuss the role agriculture plays in their lives.
“This will allow the students an opportunity to examine their understanding of how nature intertwines with their cultural ideals, and what larger implications this has for their society’s economic and industrial decisions,” she said.
Spry says America’s understanding of Vietnam is hindered by our focus on the U.S. military experience there.
“It leaves us unable to recognize Vietnam as the prospering nation that it is today,” she said.
Spry graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan in December with majors in English and philosophy and minors in music and gender studies. She studied abroad in Sweden for a semester, an experience that solidified her career goal of becoming an English teacher in a foreign country.
“I have learned that adjusting to unfamiliar and uncomfortable surroundings is an important part of my personal learning process, and I am determined to live my life in an international environment teaching English,” she said.
Following her year in Vietnam, Spry plans to pursue a master’s degree and eventually a Ph.D so she can teach at the university level.
Last month, NWU senior Alex Bednar received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the Czech Republic. In addition, 2008 graduate Kyle Karthauser has received a Fulbright to study in Germany.
Thirty-eight NWU students have received Fulbright scholarships with 28 of those earned in the last decade.