Hello everyone! This week I have exciting news to share with you: I have been selected for the Fulbright award! I will be teaching English in La Rioja, Spain starting in January. Unfortunately, my program can not start in the fall due to COVID-19, but it is still an extreme honor to be able to participate at all. I can’t wait to return to Spain, improve my Spanish, and hopefully get to do things I missed out on this semester.
I applied for Fulbright way back in September. I spent the whole month working with different professors, editing my essays, and going through the interview process. During my first week or two in Spain this January, I received the email that I had been selected as a semi-finalist. I found out in my room and came out to tell my host brother. I’m not sure I did a great job of explaining what Fulbright was, but I think it was obvious enough that I was thrilled.
The only downside was that the email said I would be informed of the final decision between March and June. So naturally, come March 1st I was actively checking my email. I knew how competitive the Fulbright program was so I tried to remind myself that the likelihood of me getting the award was small. I knew I had submitted a strong application, but I’m sure everyone who applies is also very dedicated and strong writers.
Then, last Friday, I got an email congratulating me on being a recipient. I went to my Fulbright application to make sure it was true, and sure enough it was! I told my mom, texted a lot of friends, and just couldn’t stop smiling. I felt so proud of myself and happy to make everyone else proud. If you had told me years ago that I would receive this award, I wouldn’t have believed you. Even though I had an untraditional path in college, being a Fulbright recipient is kind of like the universe saying, “You did it!”
If I’m being honest, I am a little disappointed I won’t be leaving in September. I will now have a semester completely free and am yet again at the drawing board on how to fill up this time. If anyone is reading this and has any suggestions, please let me know! It is hard to predict anything with all that is going on, but hopefully I can make something work.
I will now come to the last point of this blog post: I am a senior! I have less than a month left of my undergraduate years, I have plans for the future, and this is something to celebrate! Don’t get me wrong, I am still working on papers and assignments, but the end is in sight and that is very exciting. It has been an unusual last semester but I am thankful to my professors and the Tufts-Skidmore in Spain program for being there for us students.
Goodbyes can be bitter/sweet. I know that for everyone I’ve met along the way this isn’t goodbye, it’s a see you later. Thanks for helping me get to where I am today, I couldn’t have done it alone!
Tu amiga, Naomi
Naomi Roter, student blogger primavera 2020