The Korean phrase “다른 언어는 삶의 다른 비전이다,” roughly translated to English, means “a different language is a different vision of life.”
Lynnea Lombardi (BA ’19, MEd ’21), a new graduate of the higher education Master of Education program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, will soon view life through the eyes of students in South Korea.
Lombardi was awarded a 2021 English Teaching Assistant Award to South Korea from the U.S. Department of State Fulbright Program.
After submitting essays about her career plans and a Korean language proficiency evaluation, Lombardi was selected to participate in the year-long program.
In January 2022, Lombardi will arrive in South Korea and complete a six-week orientation. She will then receive her placement to teach conversational English to secondary school students (grades 7-12).
“Through the immersive teaching experience, I expect to gain perspective on the Korean secondary education system,” says Lombardi. “I aspire to use that knowledge in my future career to support Korean international students as they transition to college in the United States.”
Lombardi supported international students during her time at Pitt Education. She interned with Global Ties, an organization that helps international students transition to academic life in the United States, and was a member of the Daehwa Korean Conversation club at Pitt for five years.
While earning her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in communication and rhetoric, Lombardi studied abroad at Korea University in Seoul.
“I think it’s important for me to put myself in international students’ shoes and experience living in a different culture,” says Lombardi.
Lombardi plans to apply what she learned in the higher education master’s program at Pitt Education to her future experiences with South Korean students.
“I’m entering the Fulbright program with the ability to get to know students and their needs, and to create a plan to empower their success,” says Lombardi. “I have also learned a great deal about designing, implementing, and measuring learning goals.”
Pitt Education faculty member Maximilian Schuster credits Lombardi for displaying a passion for supporting international students in education.
“Throughout her studies, Lynnea has always been known to show her diligent work ethic and her commitment to advancing equity and justice in international higher education,” says Schuster. “The higher education faculty and I are beaming with pride over Lynnea’s accomplishment of earning this prestigious scholarship.”
In addition to the Fulbright award, Lombardi was also selected for the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program. In summer 2021, she will complete intensive Korean study at a virtual institute through Pusan National University in South Korea.
By improving her Korean language skills through the CLS program, Lombardi will be more prepared for her Fulbright teaching assignment.
“As we welcome international students to U.S. institutions, it’s important to keep the cultural exchange a two-way street,” says Lombardi. “Education professionals need to learn about other cultures to better support their students.”
The Pitt School of Education Higher Education programs are currently accepting applications. Apply here.