UNCW Alumna to Teach English in Ecuador Through Fulbright Program

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Rachel Castro ’17 will travel to Ecuador next year as part of the Fulbright-funded English Teaching Assistant Program. ETAs help teach the language in their country of placement while serving as cultural ambassadors for America.

The child of immigrants from Ecuador and Colombia, Castro explains that most of her time will be spent assisting in a university English as a Second Language classroom.

“I've been working for a large public library system in Minneapolis for the past few years and thinking about how public institutions, like libraries, shift their attention and reassess their resources in response to community needs,” Castro said. “Ecuador has become a destination country for refugees from Venezuela. Depending on which city I'm placed in, I'll be volunteering or doing research with a library program or refugee protection organization that connects displaced communities with social services.”

The Fulbright Program is a highly competitive, merit-based grant for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. The U.S. Student Program is designed to give recent graduates and master’s and doctoral candidates opportunities for personal development and international experiences.

“Year after year, UNCW students remain highly competitive for prestigious fellowships, including Fulbrights,” said faculty member and CSURF director Nathaniel Grove. “It is a testament to the quality of the educational experience they receive. Rachel will join an elite club with other top students from across the United States.”

-- Caroline Cropp