Adriana Miller, a senior psychology and sociology major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has earned a Fulbright award to teach English in Taiwan. A member of the University Honors Program, she is a graduate of Lincoln High School.
Miller was motivated to apply for the Fulbright because of her experiences getting to know many international students at the university and in Lincoln, and because she wanted a longer, more immersive experience in another country. She has had many opportunities at the university to interact with international students. She went on a three-week study abroad trip to China with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies and has been a member of New Student Enrollment’s International Welcome Team. Miller also taught English as a peer tutor during high school and has volunteered with Lincoln Literacy, a local nonprofit that offers free language lessons.
“I think my extracurricular experiences at UNL have most prepared me for Fulbright,” she said. “I have gotten to know many international students through my involvement with Cultural Ambassadors Club and International Welcome Team. I have met students from all over the world and worked with them in leadership positions and have had many opportunities to gain cultural competence skills, which I will definitely be using and building on in Taiwan.”
Miller selected Taiwan because of previous travels to China and Malaysia and because she wanted to learn more about Chinese culture in another context.
“I hope that a more long-term stay will give me the chance to gain a deeper knowledge of the culture, and that I will become a part of the community rather than just a visitor, as in my previous travels,” she said. “I have also been studying Mandarin off and on for the past few years, and living and teaching in Taiwan for a year will be a great opportunity to improve my Mandarin skills and have a more immersive language experience.”
While in Taiwan, Miller hopes to start a cultural exchange discussion group with other young adults in the community.
“During my freshman and sophomore years at UNL, I frequently attended Coffee Talks — a weekly meeting where domestic and international students could just meet up in the union and talk about any interesting topics, like holidays, traditions, politics and more,” she said. “I think starting a similar group in Taiwan would be a great opportunity to ask questions about Taiwanese culture and to share some of my experiences as an American.”
After her Fulbright, Miller plans to attend graduate school at Pennsylvania State University, pursing a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology and language sciences. Her research will focus on bilingualism, second-language learning and foreign-accented speech processing.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between Americans and citizens of other countries; counter misunderstandings; and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the program has enabled more than 390,000 students, scholars, artists, teachers and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research; exchange ideas; and find solutions to shared international concerns.