April 07, 2023

Grace Tepes ’23, a biochemistry and German studies double major, has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright U.S. English Teaching Assistant award from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Tepes, of Northampton, Pennsylvania, will spend 10 months in Germany teaching English to students there.

“I have enjoyed learning German since eighth grade, and it has led to so many wonderful experiences and opportunities,” Tepes said. “I wanted to apply to be an English teaching assistant in Germany to try to give German students the same passion for learning a foreign language.”

Tepes’ upcoming Fulbright experience in Germany will be her third time studying in the country. She traveled to Germany as a high school student and returned to spend a semester in Freiburg, a city in the country’s Black Forest, through Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities study-abroad program.

“During my semester abroad, I took courses in German history, literature, film and grammar, as well as in environmental policies and green business,” Tepes said. “Studying in Freiburg was a wonderful experience. The beauty of the landscape appeals to me and I enjoy being able to use my knowledge of the German language. I also have ancestral roots in Germany and Austria.”

After completing her Fulbright experience, Tepes plans to pursue a career in laboratory work to capitalize on her biochemistry major.

“There are many German chemical and medical companies that have locations in the United States. I hope that with the Fulbright, I will learn more about the work culture in Germany, which would be beneficial if I would work at a company with ties to Germany,” Tepes said. “I also may decide to work in a lab in Germany eventually.”

The English Teaching Assistant Programs place Fulbright recipients in classrooms abroad to assist local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States. The age and academic level of the students vary by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. Applicants for ETA Programs can apply to only one country.

Susquehanna has a program dedicated to assisting students in applying for prestigious scholarship programs like the Fulbright. That program is led by Karol Weaver, professor of history. Tepes was also assisted by Martina Kolb, associate professor of German studies and Winifred and Gustave Weber Professor in the Humanities; Michael Parra, assistant professor of chemistry; and Bob Jordan, head tennis coach.