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alex knoblock, brazil, 2012-2013

Fulbright year: 2012-2013
Country: Brazil
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Department: Romance Languages
Degree: B.A. in Spanish, minor in Portuguese, 2012
Hometown: Columbus, OH

Before Alex Knoblock begins his Fulbright year teaching English in Brazil in February 2013, he will have spent plenty of time in South America honing his classroom style.

“Between now and then, I’m participating in the English Opens Doors program in Chile,” Alex said. “I’ll be teaching middle or high school students outside of a main city for five months, so I’ll have some co-teaching experience by the time I start in Brazil.”

And Alex isn’t so sure that when his Fulbright year concludes that he’ll be departing from his adopted home.

“I’ll have all the tools at my disposal to pursue a fulltime career in Brazil, be it as a teacher or in a diplomatic or private-sector position,” he said. “Overall, my hope is that my Fulbright leads to a long and productive career in Brazil or the region.”

Alex said his interest in Brazil began as a UGA freshman, when he shifted his focus from Spanish to the Portuguese language and lusophone cultures.

“I took accelerated Portuguese and got interested in the Brazilian culture through my classes,” he said. “For me, the academic and everyday appeals are both there. In addition to being a beautiful country, Brazil is an economic hub of South America and there are many parallel cultural changes happening in the U.S. and Brazil right now… Plus, I’m a huge foodie and Brazilian cuisine is really good.”

Saying that he’s “interested in simultaneously teaching and learning another language,” Alex – who during much of his undergraduate time at UGA worked for the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) office – added that he’s eager “to become a part of the Brazilian daily grind.”

“Obviously, some days will be great and some days will be terrible, but I’m looking forward to waking up and saying, ‘Hey! I’m in Brazil! My job is in Brazil, my life is in Brazil!” he said. “I’m excited to make a friend, share a meal, and have great conversations.”

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