Kathleen Tsai '16 Receives Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grant
The chemistry major and education minor will live in Taiwan next year, where she hopes to reconnect with some relatives.
Kathleen Tsai '16 clearly loves to teach. In addition to working toward an education minor, she has also led the team at Puentes de Salud's after-school tutoring program at Southwark School; coordinated Haverford's Mentoring and Student Teaching (MAST) Program, which provides laboratory experience and writing tutorials for Philadelphia area high school students; and tutored fellow Fords in both chemistry and at the Writing Center. Next year, she will explore her passion further thanks to a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Grant.
After Commencement, Tsai, who is of Taiwanese descent, will return to her family's homeland, where she will be placed in either a primary or middle school to teach English. The Fulbright will fund her travel to and from the Asian island nation, and provide health insurance and funding for housing and incidentals.
"Living in Taiwan has always been a dream of mine," says the chemistry major and biochemistry concentrator. "All four of my grandparents and my mom are from Taiwan, and I've always wanted to live in the culture and country that shaped my family."
Tsai is planning for an eventual career in high school science education, so she is excited for her Fulbright because, in addition to allowing her to reconnect with her Taiwanese relatives, she will be able to explore new teaching strategies in a different cultural context.
"I'm interested in working with students who are English-language learners," says Tsai. "I hope that by teaching English in a country where I'm unfamiliar with the dominant language—I don't speak Mandarin or Taiwanese—I can learn from the challenges that will inevitably happen in the classroom, as well as the rewards of learning new teaching techniques."