CSLC staff member receives Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Argentina

Author: Anne Daly

The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC) is excited to congratulate graduating desk staff member Luke Wajrowski on the receipt of a  2016 Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistantship) to Argentina.In the spring of 2017, Wajrowski will begin teaching English at an Argentinian university, and will also work on a research project on Argentinian theater.

Wajrowski decided to apply for the award after attending the CSLC’s spring break workshop on Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL), which included a classroom component as well as four teaching practicums at La Casa de Amistad in South Bend. The workshop has been replaced by the new TESOL minor, and Wajrowski comments that he’s really excited about this, explaining that the minor would have helped him “a lot, even more, to be a more effective second language teacher.”

Wajrowski is already an experienced English language instructor. During his time at Notre Dame, Wajrowski spent three years teaching English with the Community Alliance to Serve Hispanics (CASH), which serves Spanish-speaking immigrants in South Bend. Wajrowski says that he didn’t join CASH with dreams of teaching English post-graduation, but explains that once he began teaching English, “it was something [he] fell in love with.” This past year, Wajrowski served as the group’s Vice President of English as a New Language (ENL) Programming.

Wajrowski also has multiple experiences with Spanish away from Notre Dame’s campus. After his sophomore year, Wajrowski completed a Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) at the Casa Juan Diego, a Catholic Worker House in Houston, Texas, which assists undocumented immigrants from Latin America. Then, Wajrowski spent the fall semester of his junior year studying abroad at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile.

San Pedro De AtacamaWajrowski in the San Pedro de Atacama area of Chile.

After a brief stint back on U.S. soil for his spring semester, Wajrowski returned to South America for an International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) in Lima, Peru. Wajrowski says that his work with children with special needs at the Colegio Fe y Alegría was very impactful, and says that he also learned a lot about Hispanic culture during his ISSLP. Commenting on the differences between Peru and Chile, Wajrowski explains that there is a “multiplicity of [hispanic] cultures, which is really exciting and really interesting, and something I’m interested in experiencing more of.”

22e252ac 3c2f 4bfc 86bb 68398a467cf9Wajrowski and his students celebrate Peruvian culture during his International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP). 

When his Fulbright ETA begins, Wajrowski will have the opportunity to engage with yet another Hispanic culture. And because of his experiences at Notre Dame, he is very well prepared for this adventure. Reflecting on his undergraduate career, Wajrowski says, “all these different opportunities have challenged me, and allowed me to grow in ways that I wouldn’t have before.” In addition, although Wajrowski didn’t begin his time at Notre Dame with a clear plan for after graduation, he comments that “it’s been nice to see which clubs [he’s been drawn to” because they’re “kind of a confirmation of what [he wants] to do in the future.”

Although Wajrowski does not have set plans for after his Fulbright, he says that he could see himself teaching high school Spanish in the United States, and explains, “I think it would be cool, after I’m done teaching English to Spanish speakers, to come back and teach Spanish to English speakers.”

The faculty, staff, and student staff at the CSLC would like to extend a warm felicitaciones (congratulations) to Luke Wajrowski on his Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Argentina. ¡Buena suerte con todo! (Good luck with everything!)

If you are interested in learning more about applying for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, please visit CUSE at cuse.nd.edu/fulbright.