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Major in International Relations, Minors in Japanese and Gender & Women's Studies
While at Knox, Monica studied abroad three times: As a junior, she studied abroad during the fall in Amman, Jordan, and during the spring in Tokyo, Japan. As a sophomore, she participated in a two-week winter break program in Ghana, which focused on West African dancing and drumming.
Monica is among a select group of U.S. citizens who teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. She documents her experiences on her Fulbright blog.
Tell us about what you’re doing in Mongolia.
I work as an English Teaching Assistant at Khovd State University in far western Mongolia. Additionally, I teach adult translator courses and an accelerated English program for high school students. Outside the classroom, I run English clubs, help teachers apply for research grants, give presentations at the American cultural center, and edit English news reports. I also study Mongolian language and culture in my free time. Every day I’m learning something new, and I’m really happy to be here!
How do you think Knox helped you stand out among the other applicants for the Fulbright Program?
While still in high school, I studied abroad in Mongolia for a summer through a school scholarship. My application benefited from having spent time in the country, but my experiences at Knox are what made me a viable candidate for Fulbright. Working as a writing tutor for the Center for Teaching and Learning, and studying abroad during my time at Knox made the biggest impact on my application.
By working as a writing tutor, I gained experience in helping students from all backgrounds improve their writing and learned how to apply different methods of teaching to fit student needs. Studying abroad in Jordan and Japan during my junior year, on the other hand, helped to capitalize upon what I studied in my classes and transform theoretical concepts into practical reality. I learned how to navigate cultural miscommunications, say yes to new opportunities, and be flexible in tough situations—which has come in handy during frequent power outages in Khovd!
What was your favorite experience at Knox?
Definitely International Fair! I had the privilege of participating in Knox’s International Fair every year as a member of International Club and, in this past year, as co-president of the club. Over the years, I’ve been an event planner, a decorator, a dancer, a flag bearer, and a participant. Students put so much work and energy into making the event a success. I loved seeing both domestic and international students expressing their cultures and learning from each other.
While at Knox, Monica was the co-president of International club. She also participated in the Prairie Fire swim team and played women's water polo, served as a resident assistant, worked as a writing tutor, and managed cultural houses on campus.