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ASAD DELAWALLA, South Korea, 2017-2018

Fulbright Year: 2017-2018
Country: South Korea
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Undergraduate Major: International Affairs
Graduation Date: Spring 2015
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Asad Delawalla will spend his Fulbright year teaching English in South Korea. Fortunately, he’s neither a stranger to teaching nor South Korea.

Asad, who was born in Pakistan and moved with his family to the U.S. as a 4-year-old, spent a month in summer 2015 on a South Korean English teaching internship. During his undergrad years at Georgia, he volunteered as a tutor at the Athens Homeless Shelter. He also taught elementary school students in an after-school daycare program and was a substitute teacher in Gwinnett County. In 2016, he served as a project assistant at the Carter Center in Atlanta, training individuals globally to use software in election monitoring and humanitarian missions.

This experience will be vastly different from Asad’s previous time in South Korea.

“This will be my first time teaching English for an entire year—as opposed to just a few classes—to a class of non-native speakers,” said Asad, who graduated from UGA in May 2015 with a degree in international affairs and a minor in French. “And it will be my first time teaching the language as an actual teacher in the eyes of the students and not just as a temp or sub. I’m excited to be able to take ownership of an entire class and say that I’m the one most responsible for their English skills at the end of the year.”

Asad also plans to offer language assistance to North Korean defectors by volunteering at the Hana Center, established by the South Korean government to aid defectors.

“Since the English language is so prevalent in the daily lives of South Koreans, learning some English is key to integrating successfully,” he said. “Unlike at regular school, the defector students I teach can be of almost any age… participating in the program would allow me to give back to my host country outside of my regular duties by helping its newest citizens learn the skills needed to more effectively compete in the global economy.”

Upon returning from his Fulbright experience, Asad plans to either pursue a career with the U.S. Department of State, a career in education or return to school for a master’s degree in international education.

If a position in the Department of State works out, the opportunity to continue to immerse himself in South Korean culture will be critical in his ongoing education of the language.

“I wish to return in order to improve my Korean skills and learn more about the region by interacting daily with South Koreans,” he said. “Such interactions with South Koreans will prepare me for future career goals. Interacting with South Koreans from all walks of life helps prepare me by allowing me to become better acquainted with the various attitudes South Koreans may have toward Americans.”

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