Graduating senior receives prestigious award to teach English abroad

Portrait of Lindsey Faucher. Photo Courtesy of Lindsey Faucher.

At the end of February, senior Lindsay Faucher received an email that changed the course of her life after graduation. The email notified Faucher that she had received the coveted Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award.

Upon graduation, Faucher will leave the tropical climate of Miami to work as an ETA in Solothurn, a small town in the north-west region of Switzerland.

“I’ve always been interested in international experiences, so I knew the Fulbright program would be a great fit for me,” Faucher, a triple major in international studies, psychology and French, said.

The Fulbright program awards grants and funding to American students interested in going abroad to complete a postgraduate degree, teach English or conduct research. As a recipient of the award, Faucher will spend 10 months in Switzerland teaching English and immersing herself in a new culture.

“I’ve been to Switzerland before, but to the French speaking part,” Faucher said. “This time I will be in a more German dominated area, which is completely unfamiliar to me.”

The senior is excited at the prospect of a challenge, and is confident her past experiences have prepared her for the job.

At UM, she has been involved in several student organizations such as the Homecoming Executive Committee and United Black Students. She was also a Research Assistant in the psychology department.

However, her international experiences have laid the foundation for her future in Switzerland.

Doing a summer exchange program in France during high school inspired her to declare international studies and French majors upon arriving at UM. Throughout her time at the UM, she took several unique courses such as Global Issues and Filmmaking, which only grew her love for international diplomacy and cross-cultural exploration.

“My discussion-heavy international studies classes taught me the value of being a good listener,” Faucher said. “I learned as much from my classmates as I did from my professors by learning about their backgrounds and being open to hearing their perspectives.”

Faucher applied this value of open-mindedness two years ago during her internship as an English Teaching Assistant in Portugal.

“This opportunity gave me a glimpse into what being an ETA is like,” she said. “It was so interesting to interact with kids who had never met a foreigner before. Those two months, I was able to share things about American culture while also learning about theirs.”

Faucher’s time in Portugal served as the foreshadowing of her future as an ETA in Switzerland. However, she hopes her time in Switzerland will serve as the catalyst of an exciting career in the field of diplomacy.

“Language plays a big part in understanding different cultures,” Faucher said. “So I think that’s something I’ll be able to take into my future career, as I will hopefully one day be a diplomat working with and connecting with people from other countries.”

Faucher advises anyone interested in spending significant time abroad to look into the Fulbright program and take a chance in applying, even if it seems intimidating.

“Be true to yourself,” she said. “That’s the only way you will stand out. And don’t be afraid of trying something new.”

Although she is excited about her ten months in Europe, Faucher holds bittersweet feelings towards graduating and leaving Miami.

“I’m for sure going to miss the sunshine,” Faucher said. “While I’m in Switzerland I know I’ll remember those moments sitting in a glider with a smoothie in hand, feeling like it’s always summer.”

Faucher is eager and certain that getting on that 14-hour flight to Solothurn, Switzerland, will be the next step in what is sure to be an exciting career and life.

“I don’t want to say goodbye, but I know that it’s part of life,” Faucher said. “I am optimistic about this next journey.”