2 UT Dallas Graduates Head Abroad with Fulbright Program Grants
May 30, 2013
Andrew Previc will spend the next academic year teaching English in Taiwan. His goal is to become a consultant for companies doing business in China.
Andrew Previc has had plenty of experience studying abroad as an undergraduate, but as he leaves UT Dallas with a political science degree, his adventures overseas are far from over. Previc, the recipient of a Fulbright Program grant, will spend the next academic year teaching English in Taiwan.
It’s a return visit for Previc, who spent a recent winter break there.
“I’m very excited about that,” said Previc, who grew up in San Antonio. “I’m familiar with the Mandarin language and the Taiwanese identity, but I only came into my love for China late in the game in my senior year, so I was hoping to find a way to get back there.”
Previc is one of two new UT Dallas graduates who have received a 2013-14 English Teaching Assistantship grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Maija Wallace, who recently graduated with a degree in international political economy, received a Fulbright grant to teach English in Spain.
Both Previc and Wallace are members of the Class of 2009 Eugene McDermott Scholars.
Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the Fulbright Program offers fellowships to graduate students and graduating seniors to study in more than 140 countries. The nine-month stipend covers such items as flights, books and living expenses.
Previc was one of 28 American students selected out of 186 applicants for Taiwan. As a McDermott Scholar, he has traveled extensively as an undergraduate. In the summer of 2010, he studied in Buenos Aires, where he honed the Spanish he studied in high school. He spent the summer of 2012 in an intensive language program in Shanghai with the Alliance for Global Education. And last winter, he broadened his knowledge of China’s financial and political climates with a trip to Taiwan.
Maija Wallace, who recently graduated with a degree in international political economy, will teach English in Spain.
Eventually, he would like to be a consultant for businesses that are seeking a presence in China.
“My love of learning and my curiosity have been encouraged to the max here at UT Dallas,” he said, adding he would encourage other students to apply for scholarship grants. “The application process has value in itself because it helps you develop a narrative for your experience and gives clarity to your interests.”
Dr. Douglas Dow, coordinator of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships and associate director of the University’s Collegium V honors program, described Previc as “a true scholar.”
“Andrew is somebody who meshes a high-level intellectual rigor with a true commitment to public service. He challenges himself,” Dow said.
Wallace, of Eureka Springs, Ark., is a December 2012 graduate and one of 68 U.S. students out of nearly 400 applicants to receive a grant for Spain.
Her degree program in international political economy gave her the opportunity to travel, learn languages and explore economic and political realities around the world, Wallace said in an email from Istanbul, Turkey, where she is currently teaching English at a private school.
Before starting classes at UT Dallas, Wallace spent a year in Bolivia through the Rotary International Youth Exchange program. “While there, I learned Spanish and fell in love with Bolivia. It was this trip that led me to my choice of a major at UT Dallas,” she said.
As a McDermott Scholar, Wallace also studied in Argentina, and spent her junior year in France and Senegal. She became fluent in French and conversational in the West African language of Wolof. She completed the year with a month-long, intensive language course in Spain.
Besides teaching English, Wallace will focus next year on researching the cultural and linguistic issues associated with immigration in Spain. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in linguistics.
“Maija is ideally qualified for a Fulbright. She has wanderlust, is independent and extremely bright,” said Dr. Jennifer Holmes, Wallace’s advisor and head of the public policy and political economy program for the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. “Her experience in Spain will build upon prior time abroad and volunteering teaching English as a second language. She will be an excellent ambassador for both the United States and UT Dallas.”
The Fulbright grants are selected not just on academic merit but on how well they will represent the U.S. abroad. Previous UT Dallas Fulbright winners include Samia Hossain, who studied Arabic in Egypt in 2010, and Rachel Markowitz, who studied dispute resolution in Morocco in 2008.
The Fulbright award was founded by Congress in 1946 and is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
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