Samantha Thoma was a 2014 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bursa, Turkey.
On her ETA experience:
"The ten months that I spent teaching in Turkey on my Fulbright ETA were some of the most exciting of my life. They would not have been possible without the endless support I received from CRF throughout the lengthy, intensive application process. Watching the evolution of my application from a first draft to a final application in two months, with countless drafts in between, was stressful but rewarding. The advice and expertise of the CRF staff, especially Hanna Lee, helped me improve my application from good to great. The process of self-evaluation and reflection, which was encouraged and facilitated by the CRF staff, has made me feel confident and capable in everything that I have applied for since!
My year abroad was one of the most unique and rewarding experiences of my life. Being able to live and work in a country with a culture so different from my own transformed me profoundly. Practically, I learned the foundations of a new language, gained formal teaching experience and became an expert at packing lightly. But more than that, I learned how to be adaptable, how to open myself up to unknown situations, to embrace difference, and what it means to be a citizen of the world. I will always have Villanova to thank for helping me build the foundation which allowed me to feel comfortable embracing my 10 months in Turkey- some of the most significant of my life."