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hannah sharpe, south korea, 2019-2020

Fulbright Year: 2019-2020
Country: South Korea
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistant
UGA Degrees: Bachelor’s in History and Social Studies Education; Master’s in Social Studies Education (dual degree program)
Graduation Date: Spring 2019
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia

Hannah Sharpe, who will spend her Fulbright year teaching English at an all-boys high school in Mokpo, South Korea, brings a considerable amount of teaching experience to the table.

Hannah previously worked as an English teaching assistant in Italy and helped plan and lead an English class in Costa Rica. She also worked as a student teacher in the Athens-Clarke County School System and contributed to the Athens Prison Tutorial, an initiative established in 2016 by UGA students (and sponsored by UGA’s Honors Program) to aid prisoners in GED, SAT, and ACT preparation, as well as other courses.

While each and every stop on her path was enlightening, Hannah says the time she spent overseas has been the most meaningful.

“My prior experience teaching English abroad has shaped the way I view education, and these experiences have made me a better teacher,” she says. “I love having the opportunity to find new ways to communicate with students through language barriers and I love turning my classroom into an exchange of and celebration of culture.”

To that end, Hannah says she wants to start a pen pal program between her students in South Korea and the young people she taught in Athens-Clarke County, who studied South Korea as one of their focus countries.
“I am hoping to start a pen pal program with my South Korean students and my mentor teacher’s seventh grade classes because I want to be able to create friendships as students learn about different perspectives and a new part of the world,” she says.

In addition to expanding her experiences by living with a host family in South Korea, Hannah plans to delve into community service while there.

“I am looking forward to getting involved in the community I am living in because one of my goals as an educator is to demonstrate to my students that my care for them extends beyond the classroom,” she says, adding she hopes to involve herself in existing school clubs and perhaps establish a club of her own.

An Honors International Scholar Program recipient in 2017 and a member of the Blue Key National Honors Society, Hannah is no stranger to community service on these shores. Besides her involvement in the Athens Prison Tutorial, she volunteered in the Thomas Lay Afterschool Program, organized and led a Impact Spring Break trip in 2017 and was an Extended Orientation Counselor at UGA.

At the conclusion of her Fulbright experience, Hannah says her plans include teaching Social Studies to middle or high school students.

“I want to teach social studies because I believe when students engage critically with curriculum and connect historical events to current events, history becomes humanized and students are prepared to be active citizens,” she says.

Although she’s Georgia born and bred, Hannah says that she’d like to teach in Washington DC, the site of so much of the nation’s history-making events.

“As a history nerd, I have always loved Washington DC, and I think teaching history in DC would be amazing,” she says. “I am excited to bring a new global perspective into my future classroom.”