Tamar Eisen discusses her Fulbright experience in India

Nov 13, 2018
Tamar Eisen with Indian students
Tamar and her students in Class 6 (age 12) pose for the camera following an English lesson.

By Tamar Eisen

From 2017-2018, I served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Kolkata, India. It was an incredible experience that was formative and life-changing. 

As an ETA, I taught English and values education to students aged 10-15 at an all-girls school where the students spoke intermediate English. I taught lessons on grammar, American holidays, girls’ empowerment, creative writing, and more. As part of the Fulbright program, I volunteered at two NGOs: Rainbow Homes and the Child in Need Institute, where I mentored and tutored children who used to live on the streets. 

My students and mentees were the highlight of my experience in India. We were all students and teachers—I taught them about America, they taught me about India. Working almost exclusively with women and girls, I saw the discrimination and inequality they faced, and was inspired to pursue a career in women’s rights and gender equality. The relationships we built yielded a mutual understanding of two very different cultures and people, revealing that international exchanges matter and can help create a more prosperous and interconnected world.

Students in India with paper cut outs of pumpkin carvings
During her Fulbright program, Tamar taught students (age 11) the different ways to celebrate Halloween in the U.S. Photo credit: Tamar Eisen

 This would not have been possible without my internship at Global Ties U.S. in summer 2016, which laid the groundwork for my Fulbright experience. I got to hear from ambassadors, government officials, and professionals on the benefits of working abroad; I gained the tools to be an effective citizen diplomat, such as teaching about America, learning from others, and helping promote mutual understanding through relationship building. These skills benefited me greatly as a Fulbright ETA, as I worked directly with the U.S. Consulate, Indian professionals, and my students.

My Fulbright experience would not have been as rich and meaningful without the foundation in exchanges that I received at Global Ties U.S. I am so appreciative of this amazing organization that helped me grow into a successful citizen diplomat.


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