(Posted May 23, 2017)

Anvy Tran, senior, Boston, Ma.
Photo by Rosann Brown
Anvy Tran, senior, Boston, Ma.
Photo by Rosann Brown

Huntingdon, Pa. — Anvy Tran, a 2017 graduate of Juniata College, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Award to work in Vietnam. Tran will be the first Juniata graduate to take a Fulbright ETA award in Vietnam, and the second Juniata graduate in the College’s history to accept a Fulbright in Asia.

Tran is the daughter of Nghiem and Yen Tran of Boston, Mass. She is a 2012 graduate of Boston Latin School. 

At Juniata, Tran studied international politics with a secondary emphasis in Spanish and Hispanic Cultures, earning her bachelor’s of arts degree in May 2017.

Tran will spend 10 months in Vietnam teaching English to students. Tran will be assistant teaching at Hai Phong University for students working toward their degree in English or English language teaching.

“I am enormously grateful to my professors at Juniata,” Tran says. “They pushed me to consider different possibilities for my academic pursuits. I would not have thought of applying for this opportunity had they not encouraged me.”

"I am enormously grateful to my professors at Juniata," Tran says. "They pushed me to consider different possibilities for my academic pursuits. I would not have thought of applying for this opportunity had they not encouraged me."

Tran has long held an interest in Vietnam, due in part to the fact that her parents came to the United States as refugees during the Vietnam War era. However, Tran credits Dr. Emil Nagengast, professor of politics at Juniata, with sparking her interest in more scholarly learning about Vietnam. “His own enthusiasm for the culture and history of Vietnam introduced me to the country academically, and I am looking forward to learning more during my time there.”

While at Juniata, Tran developed teaching experience through working in the college’s Writing Center for three years and serving as a tutor in the Intensive English program. Her enthusiasm for teaching began before her time at Juniata. During high school, Tran guided people with developmental disabilities in creating art projects as part of an art therapy program. Upon graduating from high school, Tran spent a year in Otavalo, Ecuador creating and teaching in an after-school tutoring English language program for high school girls.

“I have gravitated to teaching for a long time because it is a great way to travel, bringing a skill to a place and being useful to others,” Tran says. “The more I’ve learned about teaching, the more I appreciate what it does for me and others.”

Tran also credits her love of teaching for her earning a position as the captain of the Juniata Women’s Rugby Club. Having wrestled in high school, she felt rugby was a natural extension of that activity when she arrived at Juniata.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place individuals in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. Applicants for English Teaching Assistant Programs can apply to only one country. For the 2017-2018 year, Fulbright awarded 15 ETAs from 97 applications.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. ECA administers the Fulbright Program under policy guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) and in cooperation with binational Fulbright Commissions and the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. embassies abroad.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.