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RACHEL KELLEY, South Korea, 2018-2019

RACHEL KELLEY
Fulbright Year: 2018-2019
Country: South Korea
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Undergraduate Major: International Affairs
Graduation Date: Spring 2018
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia

From celebrating Lunar New Year in Chinatown and serving as a dama (a peers’ court of honor) for a good friend’s quinceañera (15th birthday) to studying abroad in Oxford, Paris, Bali, and South Korea, Rachel Kelley had developed a keen appreciation for the cultures of the world at large.

Rachel describes her time at the Unmunsa Buddhist Monastery as “hard work—but calm,” affording her the opportunity to experience a slice of South Korea that has existed for centuries but is little known to Westerners, making her that much more enthusiastic to not only study the Korean language, but to also explore the people behind the words.

After graduating from UGA in May with a degree in International Affairs and minors in French and Korean, Rachel is returning to South Korea under the auspices of the Fulbright Scholarship to serve in an English teaching assistant program. As is the case with many Fulbrights, Rachel looks forward to the opportunity to teach and learn.

“I know firsthand that exposure to different cultures can have a profound effect on one’s goals and passions,” says Rachel. “…I am eager to use my teaching skills as an ETA to leave just as great an impact on my future students as South Korea has left on me.”

Before leaving for South Korea in early July, Rachel, a metro Atlanta native and Foundation Fellow, worked at South Carolina-based Girlology and completed work for her TEFL certification.

She’s not yet sure where she’ll be in South Korea, but in addition to her teaching she’ll be conducting research on foreign policy towards North Korea with contacts she’s made within the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other governmental and non-governmental agencies.

In addition to her language studies, Rachel has studied and conducted research on South Korean nuclear policy at KAIST (a public research facility in Daejeon, South Korea) and this past fall collaborated with the International Center at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government on a research project about U.S.-North Korea policy.

“As I have furthered my education, both at home and abroad, I have developed the desire to combine my experiences and knowledge about specific regions with teaching in my future career,” says Rachel.

At the completion of her Fulbright year, Rachel plans to attend graduate school for continued study in international affairs, focusing on policy administration and East Asian affairs.

Her long-range career plans include working with businesses and organizations to establish new divisions abroad or working as a government analyst or Foreign Service officer.

“The techniques and skills that I have acquired through the ETA program will help me in either of these pursuits,” says Rachel. “A teacher learns patience, strategy, and understanding, and these talents not only are essential to my career aspirations but will provide guidance throughout the course of my life.”