Nicole Castillo – 2017-2018, ETA, Morocco
Marhaba! My name is Nicole Castillo and I served as a 2017-2018 #FulbrightETA at the English Department of Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tétouan, Morocco. I am #Mexican and #Colombian, proudly born and raised in New Jersey. I graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017 with a degree in Government and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. After two years of learning #Arabic, I had the opportunity to travel to the region in Spring 2015 through a study abroad program based in Fez, Morocco. My ten weeks were spent learning #darija, living in a homestay, and learning about Moroccan culture. I knew immediately that I had to find a way to return— which is why I applied to the @the_Fulbright_Program.
While I had some experience teaching English in Latin America prior to Fulbright, I never saw myself as an “educator.” What drew me specifically to the Morocco ETA program was the opportunity to work with college students, all of whom willingly elected to further their English studies. While it was a bit strange in the beginning to be the “Professor” of students my age (and sometimes much older!), I ultimately loved the ability to plan my curriculum from scratch and get to know my students closely. [Swipe for a photo of me and a fellow ETA breaking fast during #Ramadan with our students on the beach.] The Fulbright ETA Program allowed me to teach classes I was passionate about (like American History and Public Speaking) while furthering my Arabic language studies and immersing myself in a culture completely different than my own.
After returning to the U.S., I decided to continue teaching and have spent this last year coaching high school debate. I continue to be in contact today with many of the people I met through Fulbright. In the Fall, I will begin studying at Columbia Law School. I look forward to applying the skills I’ve learned through my Fulbright Fellowship to help advocate for my communities. Please don't feel shy about reaching out to me if you're considering applying or think I can help you in any way.