‘Unfinished Business’

Matt Hawkins
March 28, 2016

After a semester studying in Spain, Sojourner White ’16 knew she wanted to return to the country. She didn’t expect the opportunity would come little more than a year later as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.

White, a psychology and Spanish double major from Milwaukee, will be one of 46 American cultural ambassadors who will spend the 2016-17 school year in Madrid-area secondary schools. She will teach classes and will work with student organizations like Model United Nations.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience I get to have twice,” White said. “I was determined to get back to Spain because I felt I had unfinished business there. I thought of things I could have done — or could have done more — while I was there last year.”

While White’s Spring 2016 semester in Granada exposed her to southern Spain customs, she expects the Madrid experience to further open her eyes to Spanish culture.

“I’m familiar with Spanish culture, but the country’s regions are so different that I know I’ll learn a lot,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the people I’ll meet and the new experiences.”

In addition to learning more about Spain, White, an eager volunteer, expects to spend a significant part of her time giving back to her host country. She volunteered at a residence facility for people with special needs in Granada and she awaits new opportunities.

White noted the breadth of her Bradley experiences on the Hilltop, in the community and abroad prepared her to be passionately engaged as a cultural ambassador. Internships, time as a resident assistant and peer mentor developed her interest in people and exposed her leadership strengths and weaknesses.

“This enhanced my passion for international service because I’ve gotten to meet people from other backgrounds,” she said. “The Fulbright experience will help me become even more comfortable working with others as it helps me see my strengths and weaknesses in a foreign setting. I look forward to seeing how I will grow from the experience.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program operates in over 155 countries.