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JULIANNE O’CONNELL, Indonesia, 2016-2017
Fulbright Scholar Julianne O’Connell

JULIANNE O’CONNELL
Fulbright Year: 2016-2017
Country: Indonesia
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistant
UGA Undergraduate Majors: Linguistics and German
Graduation Date: Spring 2013
Hometown: Roswell, Georgia

For the last two years, Julianne O’Connell has been teaching English to high school and college students in Vienna, Austria, under the auspices of Fulbright Austria. For her Fulbright experience, Julianne will still be teaching English, but in a decidedly different environment.

“Though I someday want to attend graduate school, I knew I was not done teaching in an international environment,” Julianne says. “This led me to apply for an actual Fulbright grant. Having already taught under a Fulbright affiliate for two years, I was aware of the skills needed to thrive in this position, and I was really looking forward to the challenges that might arise in a setting so different than that of Austria or America.”

When asked why she chose to teach English in the Southeast Asian nation, Julianne says, “I am mostly fascinated by the linguistic diversity of the country, and Indonesia has some of the most beautiful landforms that I have ever seen, in photographs at least. I am also excited by the opportunity to experience life in a predominately Muslim country.”

Julianne is living in Kupang, a predominantly Christian city, so already the experience is defying the expectations of her host country, she says. She is teaching 10th and 11th graders at SMAN 3 Kupang, a local public high school. Additionally, she will assist in their English and debate clubs.

“I love languages, and I cannot wait to hopefully add Bahasa Indonesia to my repertoire and maybe even some local languages and dialects,” she says. “After living two years in a cold city within a landlocked country, I am also looking forward to being somewhere warm and surrounded by water. A lot of people have been warning me about the heat and humidity, but having experienced my fair share of Georgia summers, I would say I am pretty well prepared.”

When Julianne completes her teaching term in Indonesia, she’s not sure it will be time to come home.

“I eventually want to go to graduate school to pursue my master’s in student affairs, but I want to explore other countries and other opportunities first because I know once I finish grad school I will want to start working full time,” she says.

“Education and service having been the building blocks of my path so far, and I think that as long as I am some way working in these two capacities, then I am setting up a good foundation for whatever I end up doing next, be it a long- or short-term endeavor.”

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