Linguistics Major Fulbright Scholar

Marana, Ariz.
Linguistics major modified with Asian and Middle Eastern studies
English teaching assistant grant, South Korea

Arista Ngodinh says the opportunity to teach English in South Korea through Fulbright next year “puts all my interests together”—particularly an interest in education and language, and in the language and culture of Korea, where she spent her junior fall as an exchange student at Seoul’s Yonsei University.

Growing up bilingual in Vietnamese and English, she is fascinated by language. In high school she studied Mandarin and learned some Korean from friends and pop-culture, and at Dartmouth, she decided to major in linguistics. “Linguistics is about analyzing the underlying principles most languages share,” she says. “It combined my interest data analysis and the humanities.”

Ngodinh discovered her interest in education in a course with Associate Professor of Education Michele Tine. “We learned about the neuroscience of learning, methods of teaching, and the education system in the U.S. and other countries,” she says. “From that point on I was interested in trying to understand how people learn and how we can help students learn better.”

The First Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP) was key to her transition to college, and the experience motivated her to help others. She served as a mentor to high school students through the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) program and tutored local elementary school students through America Reads. “I like interacting with students. SEAD solidified a lot of the things that I learned in my education classes—especially that if you support students, they will show results.”

Outside of the classroom, Ngodinh is a member of the dance group Street Soul, which she joined during her first year. “I had never danced before, and it became the catalyst for so much of my Dartmouth experience,” she says. “I carried the confidence I got from dancing into my classes.”

The Dartmouth News

Five Dartmouth students and one recent alumna have been selected as Fulbright Scholars and will study or teach in Spain, the United Kingdom, Hungary, and South Korea.

Sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other nations through international educational exchanges in more than 155 countries. Fulbright awards are available for research, graduate study, and teaching English.

“This year’s Fulbright recipients represent humanities, arts, social sciences, sciences, and teaching—and highlight the fact that Fulbright can be right for you no matter what your discipline or interests might be,” says Associate Director of Undergraduate Advising and Research Holly Taylor, who advises Dartmouth students and alumni through the Fulbright application process.

To learn more about how to apply for the Fulbright and other programs, visit Dartmouth’s Fellowship Advising Office.