Lincoln Park to S. Korea

Lincoln Park to S. Korea

In middle school, Rachel Kelly of Lincoln Park spent parts of two consecutive summers working with children in the ghettos of Venezuela.

The summer before her freshman year at Rowan University, she did the same near Dublin, Ireland.

So, staying in America to attend graduate school right out of college wasn't really a consideration for this world traveler.

"If I had stayed home and just gone off to grad school, that, to me, was just so easy,"says Kelly, who has received a Fulbright Program scholarship to teach English as a second language to children in South Korea.

Kelly, who will teach in South Korea for a year beginning in July, is the seventh Rowan student in the past seven years -- and the third student from the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences over the past two years -- to receive a Fulbright.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the highly competitive international exchange program provides talented students with grants to study abroad. Kelly will be involved with the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships Program, which places awardees in more than 20 countries.

For Kelly, who recently learned she also was chosen for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program, an honor she had to decline in order to accept the Fulbright, the chance to teach and study in another culture, and to live with a host family, made South Korea an appealing choice.

"Living with a host family stood out for me. I want to be 100 percent immersed in the culture. I want to taste, smell, touch, hear and see every piece of a world that I have never sensed before," says Kelly, a 2003 graduate of DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne who will receive her bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in political science, from Rowan on May 11.

"Rachel has the intelligence, tact, sensitivity and resourcefulness to make her Fulbright project a wonderfully rewarding experience for her host country and for herself," says Rowan English professor Catherine W. Parrish. "She'll do a wonderful job teaching English to South Korean school children."

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Date Published: Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 01:00