Omi cried when she heard the news that her granddaughter, Emily Krauter, had been admitted into the prestigious Fulbright US Student Program. Krauter, a recent Indiana University graduate, is moving to Omi’s homeland of Germany for one year to assist in facilitating cultural exchange with students. The all-expenses program is funded by the US government. The scholarship application process is extremely competitive. Annually, some 1,900 students are placed in 140 countries worldwide with the fundamental principle of international partnership at the core of the Fulbright mission.
Emily’s application process started her junior year of college. While studying abroad, Krauter learned that a friend had applied for the grant. Emily had already fallen in love with the German culture, perhaps awakening family roots inside her. She too was anxious to apply, yet concerned she’d studied German for just two years at IU. Part of her application included an interview to be conducted completely in the German language. So, Emily had her father and grandmother, Omi, speak the language with her at home in preparation for the interview.
It is clear that Emily is an extremely bright and mature young woman, an outstanding quality in most Fulbright recipients whose alumni include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers. Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose, actor John Lithgow, and economist Joseph Stiglitz are among notable former grantees.
Emily will be assisting a 7/8th grade teacher in Rotenburg an Der Fulda, Germany, teaching English, and serving as a mentor and go-to person when students have questions about American culture. She feels her background serving as the new member educator for her sorority, and teaching English at an after-school program, plus participation in a bi-lingual teaching course at IU will help her. She also credits Lawrence Central theater teacher, Kathleen Horrigan, for inspiring her to teach culture using a series of one-act plays – a tactic she plans to employ at the German school.
During her grant year, Emily will live at the University of Kassel working on her master’s degree and teaching 10-12 hours per week. She’ll also be able to travel to visit cousins and other extended family members. “Its serendipitous how it all worked out,” she commented. “It all worked out so perfectly, it must be God’s plan.”
Now Emily’s mother and Omi are concerned she’ll get to Germany and never come back to Indy!
(Omi’s book “From the Heart’s Closet” about being a young German-American living in America during WWII is available at http://amzn.to/19yzmpD.)