Emily Leung receives Fulbright Award

Brittany Moseley | April 25, 2018

Emily Leung

Emily Leung received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Malaysia for an English Teaching Assistantship. Beginning in January 2019, Leung will spend 10 months in Malaysia serving as an assistant teacher in an English class at a Malaysian school.

Leung, a senior majoring in business management and psychology, is one of more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

Leung discovered her love of teaching as a child when her aunt gave her a chalkboard easel for her fifth birthday. “Many of my fondest childhood memories involve playing ‘pretend teacher’ with my stuffed animals and dolls all surrounding my chalkboard easel,” she said. This led to Leung becoming an English tutor in middle school and later a reading and math tutor and classroom business teacher here at Case Western Reserve.

Besides teaching, Leung’s other passion is public health. Through the Fulbright program, she hopes “to gain a greater perspective of the global healthcare system by understanding public health approaches in a different country.”

“I specifically chose to apply to Malaysia as a Fulbright ETA because I am fascinated by Malaysia's multiculturalism that not only stems from its diverse domestic population of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and others, but also from visitors from surrounding countries,” Leung said. “I am especially interested in gaining insight for how language and cultural differences may impact healthcare delivery in hospitals and clinics, given recent increases of medical tourism and telemedicine.”

Leung will find out in August where in Malaysia she will be placed. She will spend the majority of her week assisting English teachers and leading classroom activities. She will also spend a few additional hours each week leading extracurricular activities. Outside of her classroom duties, Leung would like to become involved with the school’s music department and set up a pen-pal program between students and residents at a senior living home Leung volunteers at here in Cleveland. “My hope is that students will find great fascination in practicing their English while learning about individuals of a different age cohort and country of residence,” she said. “Likewise, I know residents will enjoy conversing with bright students of the future.”

Leung, who has traveled throughout Europe, as well as Singapore, Beijing, and Hong Kong, is looking forward to meeting her students, learning about the implications of public health in the country, and becoming a better English teacher. “I am also excited for the small, unexpected moments that require spontaneous thinking and acting, because these experiences end up being the most memorable and having a major impact on personal development,” she said.

After she completes her English Teaching Assistantship in November 2019, Leung plans to earn a Master of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health.

Students interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program or other national fellowship and scholarship awards should review such opportunities posted by the Office of Undergraduate Studies and be in touch with Dean Amanda McCarthy, the undergraduate fellowship and scholarship advisor. Dean McCarthy is available to work with interested applicants on developing their credentials and applications, provide campus endorsement support as applicable, and hosts information session and workshops throughout the academic year in order to assist students in fellowship/scholarship endeavors.