Recent graduate heads to Malaysia on a Fulbright grant
Aparna Ravilochan, who graduated in May from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. In January, she will leave for a year in Malaysia to teach English in a rural primary or secondary school in the state of Terengganu, Pahang, or Johor. “I applied to Fulbright because I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do as a career. Fulbright seemed like a great opportunity to challenge myself and do something active in the world before I settle on something specific,” says Ravilochan.
“St. John’s has consistently made me excited about so many different fields,” says Ravilochan. “It is the reason I’m taking time now to explore before I specialize.” Ravilochan has not yet received her town assignment, but taking her love of teaching and English with her, she is confident that any area will hold treasures for her. “I thought Malaysia would be a really enriching opportunity,” says Ravilochan. “It will be rewarding to work with [kids] and learn what I can bring to their lives.”
Ravilochan’s typical Malaysian workweek will include 20 hours of teaching along with extracurricular activities, including theater and choral music. Ravilochan hopes that these activities, in addition to her teaching and general community presence, will help foster meaningful relationships. “I couldn’t tell you what Fulbright will do for my future plans,” she says, “but I trust it will do something [positive]. It’s definitely going to change my life, and that’s exciting.”
The Fulbright Student Program is a grant program that sends American students—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—to more than 140 countries for individually designed research projects or teaching assistantships, allowing for a cultural exchange that promotes international partnerships and mutual understanding.