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SYDNEY LASETER, Montenegro, 2016-2017
Fulbright Scholar Sydney Laseter

Fulbright Year: 2016-2017
Country: Montenegro
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistant
UGA Undergraduate Majors: History and Social Studies Education
Graduation Date: Spring 2016
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

With an eye on a career in the classroom, Sydney Laseter could not be more excited about the Fulbright assignment she received to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Montenegro’s capital city of Podgorica. She is thrilled to be part of a new program at Slobodan Skerovic High School in Podgorica, which will begin offering an English immersion course this fall.

“They plan to provide physics, biology, and history classes to a group of high school students in English,” she says. “Since this is the first time they are doing this, both teachers and students will need assistance with teaching and being taught in English.

“Since I am a history major, I am a perfect fit to assist with history classes taught in English. I’ll be working there two days a week, teaching ancient Greek and ancient Roman history in English to high school students. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Sydney will also teach conversational English at the American Corner Reading Room, an international partnership between U.S. Embassies and host countries. She has plans for providing some very important lessons outside of the classroom, as well.

“I will work with students to find ways to create a story on Montenegro’s personal identity,” Sydney says. “Oral histories are effective tools through which people learn, and my project of identifying and recording different everyday citizens’ histories will not only help students work on their English speaking and writing skills, but it will also help them learn about the power of language and making one’s voice heard in the story of history. …The best type of learning, the kind that changes people and allows them to grow, is the learning that happens when students realize that their beliefs and actions have repercussions outside of their own person.”

Sydney says she looks forward to taking what she’ll experience in Montenegro back to the American classroom.

“I know that the lessons I learn as an ETA and as a global citizen in my Fulbright year will allow me to more effectively teach my future American students the critical thinking skills necessary to compete in the world today,” she says. “I want the classroom I cultivate post-Fulbright to be one where my students see themselves as more than just teenagers in their own city, but as people who have the skills to examine modern-day problems using the lessons of the past and who will be the ones to solve so many of the global issues we’re facing.”

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