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Courtney Caulkins

Courtney Caulkins worked as an ETA at Universidade Regional do Noroeste do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (UNIJUIl) in a rural college town in southern Brazil. Her work days were primarily planning and teaching English courses at the University and leading an English language club and events.

“It was challenging but incredibly rewarding to be so completely immersed in the culture and language, and I learned so much faster than I could in any other environment,” Courtney said. “Living alone in a new country, I felt a sense of independence I hadn’t experienced before, while at that same time still feeling the (often much-needed) support of the Fulbright program and my cohort.”

Fulbright brings people to new communities abroad as well as to communities of fellow Fulbrighters. Courtney said that both have been rewarding, meaningful and unique communities of which she is deeply grateful to be a part. Her experience has also shaped her perspective in her current job working in immigration and supporting people who are going through an adjustment to living in a new country.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the connections I made with people I met in Brazil as well as the fellow members of my cohort, who are still some of my closest friends. Being part of a group of people who shared such a unique experience and who supported each other through shared challenges is truly special.”