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morgann lyles, france, 2012-2013

Fulbright Year: 2012-2013
Country: France
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Major/Department: French, African American Studies
Degree: B.A. French, B.A. African American Studies, 2012
Hometown: Roswell, GA

Although Morgann Lyles assented that dumping her microbiology and pre-med plans to study French and African American Studies might not lend itself “as easily to a prestigious career,” she believes that because of the switch, “the person I am today more closely approximates the person I was created to be.”

A Foundation Fellow whose undergraduate travels took her to New York, England, Germany, India, Abomey, Benin, Xela, Guatemala, Canada and Washington, DC (where she served an internship for Georgia Rep. David Scott), Morgann will spent her Fulbright year teaching English at Lycee Jean Zay, located in Aulnay-sous-Bois, some nine miles outside of Paris.

“There’s a large immigrant community there, mostly from North and West Africa, so it’s a good spot for my interests,” Morgann said. “But I’m also really excited to travel to France.”

Morgann previously spent a month in France during her high school days and said she was “intrigued that there were people of color there speaking French.” She followed that residency up with a sojourn to West Africa to learn more about the former French colonies there and at that time realized her destiny awaited in France.

While in France this year, Morgann said she wants to immerse herself in francophone culture and sharpen her conversational French. She also hopes her time abroad will help clarify her future goals – she’s interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in French but would also enjoy being a French language teacher in the U.S.

A winner of the Cecil B. Willcox Award for Excellence in French and a former president of the UGA Black Theatrical Ensemble, Morgann has salient advice for future Fulbright candidates.

“Pick a place that you can contribute to,” she said. “Read the program description for your host country and tailor your application to the description to maximize your potential for success.”

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