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samantha haggard, ARGENTINA, 2009-2010

Fulbright Year: 2009-2010
Country: Argentina
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Graduate Department: Teaching Additional Languages
Graduation Date: May 2009, Master of Education
Hometown: Athens, GA

Samantha Haggard enjoyed her time in Rio Cuarto, Argentina, so much that she decided to stick around after her Fulbright tenure concluded.

“I am still living in Rio Cuarto after returning briefly to the U.S.,” she says. “I am making a life here and reshaping many of my goals. I never thought I would end up living here, and without my Fulbright experience this would not have happened.

“In my personal life, last year I met my partner, an Argentine, with whom I now live. Obviously, this has played a large part in my personal goals. I feel like I have a family here now, something completely unexpected and wonderful. In terms of professional goals, I still have a lot to figure out. For now, I am happily teaching English.”

Teaching English conversation and history at the Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto, Samantha says she learned valuable lessons, not only about her new home, but also about her homeland.

“My Fulbright year profoundly changed my life,” she says. “More than anything, it taught me how you cannot define a country by a single culture, practice, and religion. To talk about Argentina, or the U.S., as a whole is almost impossible since every province, city, and state has a unique culture and point of view. Stereotypes abound, but are more often than not incorrect whether they are about Yanquis or Argentinos. My Fulbright year made me more open-minded, patient, and thoughtful.”

With a host of happy memories about her year of service, Samantha says she can’t pick out one specific aspect that made – and continues to make – her trip rewarding.

My favorite memories are of the friends I made,” she says. “I can't pick a specific memory, but I have countless hours in the company of amazing people who helped make my Fulbright year fantastic.”

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