Gustavus Adolphus College senior Ben Dipple has been named a winner of the Fulbright English Teacher Assistant (ETA) grant to Turkey for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Fulbright’s ETA program places recent college graduates and young professionals as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools or universities overseas. ETA participants improve foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while increasing the U.S. students’ own language skills and knowledge of the host country.
A native of Dell Rapids, S.D., Dipple is excited to return to Turkey for a full year after studying in the country as a junior. He is particularly interested in Turkey because it sits at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East. “As a secular republic with a large and diverse Muslim-majority population it is in a unique position to create strong and respectful relations between the West and the Middle East,” he wrote in his Fulbright application.
Dipple highlights his studies as a history major as being key to his preparation for the Fulbright. “The classes have taught me to think critically about almost everything around me,” he explained. “I’ve learned to approach different explanations or opinions for any given issue with an open mind.”
“Ben is a truly extraordinary student,” history professor Eric Carlson said. “Even as a first-year student he was writing with a fluency and effectiveness that made him stand out.”
The Fulbright application process began in earnest after Dipple returned from Turkey last year. He worked closely with Carlson, fellowships coordinator Amanda Nienow, and professors Maddalena Marinari and Baker Lawley to organize his materials.
The Center for International and Cultural Education (CICE) also played an important role in his preparation. Director Roger Adkins and study away coordinator Bryan Messerly met with Dipple regularly to craft and refine his written statements and review the application.
“Gustavus helped me immensely in being named a Fulbright Scholar,” Dipple said.
After completing the Fulbright English teaching assistant program, Dipple hopes to study Middle Eastern and Turkish history in graduate school and pursue a career in academia or diplomatic services. In the meantime, he looks forward to his year abroad.
“I learned so much during my time in Turkey last year just by talking with my professors and fellow students,” Dipple said. “I’ve lived much of my life in the Midwest, so I’m excited to become a part of a new community in Turkey.”
“There are very few countries in the world more crucial to long-term stability and to the security of the U.S. than Turkey,” Carlson said. “Not only will Ben be an outstanding ambassador for the U.S. in rural Turkey, he will also be in a position upon his return to make his own local communities far more informed about this vital part of the world.”
For more information about the Gustavus Fellowships Office and the support it gives to students, please visit the fellowship website.
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
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