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CAROLINE BEADLES, Vietnam, 2018-2019

Fulbright Year: 2018-2019
Country: Vietnam
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Undergraduate Major: International Affairs
Graduation Date: Spring 2018
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

With the long-term career goal of working as a physician assistant, Caroline Beadles knows that beyond the extensive training she’ll receive she also must have an ability to make critical decisions on the fly.

Caroline will spend her Fulbright year as an English Teaching Assistant in Vietnam, where she says “every day may be an exercise in adaptability.”

“As a physician assistant, each patient that I will come in contact with will have a different value system that may be based on ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, or socioeconomic status,” she says. “Ultimately, I believe that work on the front line of education in Vietnam will provide invaluable groundwork for my future professional aims. It will allow me to acquire a unique understanding that will enable me to navigate deftly, humanely, and positively across different cultures in healthcare provision.”

Caroline is uniquely prepared for adaptability as she spent five weeks in the spring of 2017 as part of the Honors International Scholars program and the Freeman-Asia Scholarship working as a medical intern and volunteer in Thailand.

It was during this trip that she decided that working as an ETA would help individuals realize their career goals with a strong base in the English language. She points out that one-third of the total population of Vietnam (or roughly 25 million citizens) is aged 10-24.

“As such a huge proportion of the Vietnamese population is young and focused on improving their lifestyles, I am excited about the prospects of engaging with enthusiastic students,” she says.

Many students express their desire and willingness to lend a helping hand in their communities, but Caroline definitely walks the walk. During her time in Athens she volunteered at St. Mary's Hospital and mentored through UGA's Peer Assisted Learning program.

“Serving on my campus has taught me how to be adaptable when working with others, a skill that is vital to the success of a physician assistant,” she says.

Aside from providing unusual opportunities for students to work on their English (like using role-play exercises), Caroline has plans to utilize techniques acquired as a Peer Assisted Learning program mentor to help anyone who desires it.

“I will host professional development workshops on topics including writing resumes and cover letters, as well as preparing for an interview,” says Caroline, who also served as president of the Honors Program Student Council while at UGA. “I will organize networking events linking faculty, students, and entrepreneurs in the community. I will also create an English Club for teachers in the province to provide a forum for discussion and to help teachers practice English.”

And as is the case with all Fulbright scholars, Caroline looks forward to the opportunity to immerse herself in a new culture.

“I am interested in working in Vietnam in order to learn more about its history, culture, and language,” she says. “In my studies of international affairs, I have become well acquainted with U.S. history, political happenings, and relations with other countries…Ultimately, I believe that the cross-cultural exchange afforded by the ETA in Vietnam would give me a foundation of cultural understanding and sensitivity.”