ABERDEEN, S.D. – After studying abroad in South Korea, Northern State University student Taylor Bice knew he wanted to pursue a career teaching English overseas.
Now, Bice will begin that career as the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Bice, an Aberdeen native, will return to South Korea this July for a year-long English teaching assistantship program.
Bice is only the third NSU student in recent years to receive a grant from the Fulbright program, a U.S. government-sponsored scholarship program that promotes international educational exchange. He is one of over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2017-18 academic year through the Fulbright program, according to information from the organization.
Bice, who will graduate on Saturday, is majoring in human services and English. He picked up the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate so that he could teach English abroad. Teaching abroad is something Bice has wanted to do since studying at Anyang University in 2014.
“It didn’t really dawn on me until I was there,” he said.
He leaves for South Korea on July 7 and isn’t sure yet where he will be assigned, but will most likely start in Seoul. Bice said he’s excited to learn more about the country’s culture on this trip and hopes to visit more temples. He visited a couple of temples during his study abroad trip with a friend and former NSU student, Jeongwha Heo, who helped him adjust to life in South Korea. Bice also hopes to do a little bit of traveling over the winter vacation, either to China or Japan.
Bice is not sure what age level he’ll be teaching while in South Korea, but he has experience with all ages. When he studied abroad, he helped teach English to children at the elementary, middle school, and high school level. In Aberdeen, he volunteers at Cornerstones Career Learning Center, working with adults learning English as a second language. He also recently finished an internship with Central High School’s ESL classes.
“So I’m kind of ready for anything,” he said.
After his Fulbright year, Bice plans to pursue a master’s degree in teaching. After that, he hopes to perhaps teach in another country, or stay in the U.S. to work with refugee students.
Bice said his NSU professors have been a big help with his success, including Dr. Ginny Lewis, who was his TESOL professor; Dr. Elizabeth Haller, his main English professor; and Dr. Kristi Brownfield, his sociology professor. He also credits one of his high school teachers, Terra McQuillen, for getting him into English in the first place. He said his teaching style is based off of hers—making learning engaging for students.
His advice to other students?
“Be open to new possibilities,” he said. “And also if you’re going to go for a Fulbright, know what you want to do, because you have to understand that you are there to benefit both your host country and your home.”
For more information about the Fulbright program or the U.S. Department of State, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.
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