Henry Hinchey ’20 (Spanish and French)

Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grant

Henry Hinchey in Italy in 2018

Henry Hinchey ’20 (pictured in Italy in 2018) will be teaching English at a Brazilian federal university from February to November 2021.

Summary: The Fulbright ETA grant is offered in various countries by the program in conjunction with domestic and foreign governments, as well as educational institutions. I will be teaching English at a Brazilian federal university from February 2021 until November of that same year. I do not yet know which university, as the Brazilian school year starts in February.

I will work as a faculty member at my host institution alongside experienced language education professionals with the goal of promoting mutual understanding between my home and host countries. I am also encouraged to take part in extracurricular projects in my host community—which, in my case, would ideally include taking local dance classes and working to obtain Portuguese-English translation credentials.

The application process for an ETA position requires essays and letters of recommendations attesting to one’s dedication to language education and ability to adapt to a foreign environment, and the overall acceptance rate is about 20 percent.

I feel not only elated, but also validated as a language enthusiast. I have been passionate about foreign languages since I was about 15 years old. I had dabbled in seven before graduating high school: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese. I currently study more than a dozen foreign languages. My decision to start learning Portuguese independently during high school puzzled many of my peers at the time, but now I can finally say it has paid off. 

Anticipated highlight of the experience: This will likely be a transformative experience for me, both as a scholar and a person. This will be my largest responsibility so far as an aspiring language educator. I have worked as a tutor for years in a handful of settings, but never have I been offered a position as esteemed as a faculty member of a university. As a person, this experience will help to broaden my worldview and further validate my identity as a global citizen. 

How will your experience benefit you in the future? I see this as a crucial stepping stone on my path to a Ph.D. in applied linguistics. I aspire to enter the workforce as an educator and researcher specializing in adult second language acquisition. Additionally, I hope to attain credentials as a translator and/or interpreter in as many languages as possible.

With this experience, I hope to perfect my Portuguese language skills, gain valuable experiences as a language educator through collaborative instruction with my host institution’s faculty, and hopefully even acquire Portuguese-English translation credentials.

Fulbright Scholars

  • Five Lafayette students were named Fulbright Scholars, the largest U.S. student exchange program offering opportunities to study, research, and teach in more than 140 countries worldwide (Bryan Cocco ’20, Henry Hinchey ‘20, J’Nisha Little ‘20, Mia Coutinho ‘20, Leah Epstein ‘20). Four additional students were named alternates (Tedi Beemer ‘20, Talia Baddour ‘20, Lexi Long ‘20, Yazmin Baptiste ‘20) out of the 23 Lafayette students who applied and 13 who were named semi-finalists.

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