Class of 2016: Fulbright Recipients Delighted to Teach Abroad

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has awarded grants for five Scripps College students to participate in English Teaching Assistant Programs abroad in the coming year, two in Malaysia and one each in Mexico, Germany, and Mongolia. “Fulbrighters” Grace Dahlstrom ’16, Aishwarya Subramanian ’16, Xitlaly Sanchez ’16, Halay Wilhelm ’16, and Zoe Dilles ’16 will meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of their respective host countries, interacting on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks. The five recent graduates expressed their delight in carrying out the Fulbright program’s mission to promote mutual understanding through openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom in a meaningful cultural exchange.


Grace Dahlstrom

 Grace Dahlstrom
“Receiving the Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia was a dream come true. It is something I have dreamed about and actively worked toward since the summer after my first year at Scripps. I joined Jumpstart my sophomore year of college to gain experience teaching in the hopes that it would help my application for the Fulbright. Two years of teaching has helped me refine my pedagogy, but I am still nervous to teach high school students. I hope to be a source of compassion and knowledge to my future students. As for Malaysia, I am incredibly excited to explore a new section of the world and grow through the unexpected challenges and adventures life presents me.”


Aishwarya Subramanian

Aishwarya Subramanian


“I’m a molecular biology major who really enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of my education at Scripps. Fulbright seemed like the next step in terms of both exploring my options and also gaining a valuable life experience before picking a future career path. At this point, I would like to become a doctor—specifically a pediatrician—and I think the Fulbright will help me learn to work with kids. I also love Malaysian culture, and as a person of Tamil origin, I would love to see how the Tamil population of Malaysia has built a niche for themselves. I’m very excited about this opportunity and think it will be something I will remember for the rest of my life!”


Xitlaly Sanchez

Xitlaly Sanchez “I am excited to teach English in Mexico next year! The Fulbright Teaching Assistantship program in Mexico will allow me to connect my passion about Latin America—México, in particular—and access to quality education. My parents are both immigrants from Mexico, and I have inherited a love for Mexico from them. My work with the Scripps College Academy (SCA) and the Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment (SCORE) have prepared me for what lies ahead. As an aspiring high school teacher in Southern California, I will work closely with students who are learning English as a second language. While the students I meet in México will have different needs than those I will eventually teach in the U.S., I will gain valuable transferable skills during my time in México that will allow me to better serve American students. I am most excited for everything that México has to teach me and the ways in which living in México will stretch me and push me to become a better version of myself.”


Haley Wilhelm

IMG_0066 “My journey to Germany began when I enrolled in German during my first semester at Scripps. I had sung classically in high school and always enjoyed the German pieces I was assigned, so it somehow seemed a natural choice. The language was never easy for me, but with the support of the Scripps German Department, I was hooked! In my first few semesters, I knew that I wanted to learn more, so my adviser, Marc Katz, urged me to study abroad. I spent the entirety of my junior year abroad in Freiburg, Germany, living, loving, and exploring German culture. I worked at Camp Longbridge, an English-immersion camp in Switzerland, and engaged in language exchange programs where I was an English tutor, and my partner aided me in German. These experiences, and my love for Germany, led me to the Fulbright application. Receiving the fellowship has been an absolute blessing, and I look forward to returning to Germany to better my language skills, while encouraging students in their development. I intend to engage with the musical community and continue my passion for sustainable agriculture. I look forward to where this adventure leads and intend to enroll in a master’s program while abroad. I certainly envision a future for myself in Germany, but for now, I look forward to a summer home in Chicago!”

Zoe Dilles

Zoe Dilles'16“I am immensely excited and humbled to be a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at a university in Mongolia where I will be working with the foreign language faculty of a science department to shape the curriculum and organize multicultural events. I was drawn to Mongolia, as it is famed for its natural beauty and rich nomadic culture, but also because is it is a particularly interesting time to be teaching English, as the nation is going through rapid economic and social change from the growth of the mining industry in recent years. Though my background is in earth science, my diverse academic interests and interdisciplinary Scripps perspective will help in meeting the challenges of the coming year. I have heard and read wonderful accounts of the Mongolian landscape, people, and culture, yet I can only expect the unexpected and anticipate pushing myself personally and professionally.”