Stephanie Sun embarks this week on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award in South Korea. Sun, a May 2012 BSN graduate, will spend July 2012 – July 2013 in Korea, acting as an English teacher and cultural ambassador. She is the School of Nursing’s first student Fulbright Scholar.
Sun’s award was bestowed on behalf of the Korean-American Educational Commission and the J. William Fulbright Scholarship board. She will spend her first six weeks in a training and orientation program in Goesan, Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea. From there she will be assigned to an elementary school where she will begin her teaching post.
Sun chose Korea for her grant year for the opportunity to explore a new culture. “I was looking for an immersion experience in a different culture. I chose Korea because I want cultural competency and more growth in that area.” Sun had considered Taiwan, her parents’ country of origin, but ultimately chose to challenge herself in a less known location.
“I’ve always been interested in being a global citizen, and passionate about being aware of what’s going on in the world. In nursing, I want to work abroad with an organization that’s globally minded,” Sun said.
A global health award enabled Sun to pursue her international interests while still in nursing school. Sun spent six weeks in Kenya learning about community health and assisting in medical clinics as part of Chris Harlan’s N489 course in summer 2011. The experience included work with Moi University and the nonprofit Reach-Out. Sun also helped found UNICEF at Carolina during her studies at UNC.
Sun will stay connected to nursing while in Korea by researching job opportunities and graduate programs for when she returns to the U.S. She is interested in nurse practitioner and midwifery programs.
But for now, “I’m excited for what the grant year has to hold,” Sun said. “I’m focusing on keeping my mind open so the experience can be the best it can be.”