Rita Maricocchi receives Fulbright Award

Brittany Moseley | April 6, 2018

image of Rita Maricocchi

Rita Maricocchi received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Germany for an English Teaching Assistantship. Beginning in September, Maricocchi will spend 10 months in Germany serving as an assistant teacher in an English class at a German school.

Maricocchi, a senior majoring in French, German, and political science, is one of over 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.

This will be Maricocchi’s fourth trip to Germany. She spent the summer after her first year at CWRU in Beverungen with a host family. Last year she interned at a school in Heidelberg where she assisted in English classes for sixth and tenth graders and volunteered to teach German to refugees. Her previous experience in the country led her to apply for the Fulbright Program.

“[The internship] required me to engage the interest of middle school and high school students and be able to present and explain aspects of the English language and American culture,” Maricocchi said. “I also found the internship to be incredibly rewarding as it taught me a lot about the German learning culture as well as about how foreign languages are taught in Germany. In light of these experiences, I was motivated to apply for the Fulbright ETA to be able to continue developing my teaching skills in the context of the German culture that I am so invested in.”

While in Germany Maricocchi hopes to become involved in the local community through volunteering with refugees. She also plans to continue the research she began with her senior capstone project. “I am currently studying the portrayal of the 2015 refugee crisis in contemporary German-language literature and film,” Maricocchi said. “I look forward to being able to expand my project to include a larger variety of works as well as being able to observe first-hand the integration of refugees into the community and the classroom, and the ways in which Germans are thinking about the integration and the cultural exchange currently taking place.”

After she completes her English Teaching Assistantship, Maricocchi will attend graduate school where she will study German, French, comparative literature, or political science. “I hope to one day be able to teach in classroom environments that have migrant and refugee students who are undergoing the transition to a new language and culture, whether that be here in the United States or in Germany,” she said.

Students interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program or other national fellowships and scholarships should review such opportunities posted by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.