“I feel really passionate about language education. ... This is a great opportunity and something I worked hard for along with Bridgewater staff."
Jorgelina Uribe, ’13, G’19, is a cultural ambassador. Even the COVID-19 pandemic can’t stop her from building bridges while teaching abroad.
“I feel really passionate about language education,” the Bridgewater State University graduate said.
Uribe, who works in a Peruvian school, has received a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. She will serve in a Brazilian teacher’s college starting in early 2021 (provided the program isn’t canceled by the pandemic).
“This is a great opportunity and something I worked hard for along with Bridgewater staff,” said Uribe, who aims to promote cross-cultural connections and help Brazilians tell their stories.
Her own story showcases the diversity the United States is known for. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, she was the only English language learner in her fourth-grade class. The native Spanish speaker became fluent in English by middle school and has studied Latin, Portuguese and Mandarin.
At BSU, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages. She expanded her horizons by studying abroad and meeting students of various nationalities. She also taught in Mozambique through the Peace Corps.
“That for me was truly life changing,” she said.
Uribe is among five Bridgewater graduates who have received a Fulbright award in recent years. Her background is a perfect fit for the program, which seeks to foster mutual understanding among nations.
“That really broad experience from Massachusetts to Mozambique to her study abroad travels, it shows she’s very open and very flexible,” said Sean Maguire, student scholars coordinator at BSU. “She wants to learn about other cultures.”
Uribe found her current job while traveling in Peru. Leaders at Montessori International in Trujillo contacted her after seeing her resume.
She had only taught for a couple weeks when the school moved instruction online because of the pandemic. Now, she relies on her experience as a student in online Bridgewater classes to design effective remote learning activities. Her fellow educators are supportive, even bringing food to her doorstep.
“I have felt very lucky and very supported by my colleagues,” she said. “There are good people everywhere.”
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