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Fulbright - Should I rule out Italy?


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Greetings, all!

I will be applying for a Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistant) grant for the 2018-2019 year. I have narrowed down my country choices to the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Bulgaria, and Italy, but I'm having a difficult time narrowing it further.

I'm tempted to cross Italy off my list because it says that "Italian language proficiency is not a requirement, but is strongly recommended", which I take to mean, it basically -is- required since there are only 7 grants, and there will likely be many students applying that are indeed proficient or even fluent in Italian. I took one semester of Italian during my sophomore year of college, but I haven't continued study of it since.

However, I am an Italian-American myself, and the ETA in Italy are all placements in Southern Italy, where my relatives are from. I also took a course on Italian literature and film adaptation in college, which has definitely cemented my interest in learning more about the culture. I have a decent amount of teaching experience as well (three years in a leadership position of teaching preschool part-time, taught civic engagement at an elementary school, two summers of teaching elementary, middle, and high school aged kids, and will be doing more volunteer teaching this summer).

Do you guys think I realistically stand a chance at getting a grant in Italy, or should I focus on countries that don't recommend language proficiency?

Edited by Flambeau
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Your story for why that particular country is what is more important and having family there isn't compelling enough. Those other applicants will not only have the language skills but since they've learned to that extent they will obviously have a more compelling why Italy story. Do not worry about the requirements (unless they are strict such as something being required) and instead focus on how and why you are tied to that country. It will make your essays more compelling and convincing.

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