Plunging into Another Culture
Ariela Hazan (Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, B.S. in biology, 2014) wants to be a physician, but the long medical school road will have to wait. Hazan will take a detour to Taiwan, where she'll teach English in the southwestern city of Kaohsiung as the recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
"I wanted to take a chance to try and get close to another culture before I start my medical career," says Hazan. "I thought this would be an opportune time to do this. Once in medical school it will be hard to take a break."
Segueing between languages and cultures is nothing new for Hazan. Daughter of an Israeli father who is a table tennis coach, Hazan is fluent in Hebrew and studied Chinese for four years in high school. "So I know some Chinese, and hopefully it will get better," she says. Her Fulbright opportunity also offers Hazan a chance to explore her interest in Ping-Pong; "I was brought up with it," she points out.
Hazan has some English teaching experience as a volunteer with the We Are New York program of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. And thanks to the Macaulay Opportunities Fund, she studied abroad for a month in China and a month in Scotland during college.
At Hunter, Hazan, biology major, also received a two-year Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scholarship to work in a faculty mentor's laboratory where she researched the potentially modulating effects of neurotensin, an endogenous neuropeptide, on the toxic effects of methamphetamine use.
For now, Hazan looks forward to exploring new interests in Taiwan: "I'm going with an open mind."
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, administered by the Department of State to increase understanding between U.S. citizens and those of other countries, offers fellowships for study, research and/or teaching English abroad. A stipend covers living expenses.
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