At Villanova, students are called to ignite change around the world, using their talents to serve the greater good. For Sabrina Verleysen ’18 CLAS, her passion led her to Indonesia where she became a teacher and advocate for women’s literacy.
Verleysen received a Fulbright award in 2018-19, spending her year as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Indonesia. She fully immersed herself in a religiously centered community of predominantly female students. During her time in a Muslim Madrasah, Verleysen saw an opportunity to make education more accessible to a rural and under-resourced population while also promoting cross-cultural dialogue.
“I applied to the Fulbright ETA fellowship in Indonesia to gain a deeper understanding of the role of women in a conservative Muslim community,” Verleysen explained. “By being placed at a Muslim Madrasah with predominantly female students in rural Java, I was fully immersed in a community that is religiously centered. More than anything, I found that Islam and Catholicism are extremely similar and my experience living in my community helped me rediscover my own faith in a profound and incredible way.”