BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College is hosting three Fulbright Scholars for the 2019-2020 academic year as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship Program.

Aya Atwa, of Egypt, Chu-Yun Hsueh, of Taiwan, and Léa Serres, of France, will teach language courses in Arabic, Chinese, and French at Bethany.

Bethany College Fulbright ScholarsAtwa is from Cairo and has taught English courses in Egypt and in India and works as an artistic roller skating trainer at a Cairo sports club. She has her B.A. and M.A. in applied linguistics from Cairo University. Her arrival at Bethany marks her first visit to the United States.

“The best thing I felt so far about Bethany College is that it combines a very peaceful atmosphere with a super active learning environment, which provides me with an enriching teaching and learning experience,” she said.

Serres is from Brest in western France. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Western Brittany and master’s degree in applied linguistics from the University of Rennes 2.

The Fulbright assistantship “is a great opportunity for me to dive into American culture as well as to share my own,” Serres said.

Hsueh has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in educational psychology and counseling. She has taught for nine years at an elementary school in Taiwan and has taught Mandarin to immigrants.

In addition to their teaching duties, they will also be part-time students and reside on campus.

The Fulbright program began at Bethany in 2011 as a way to broaden the spectrum of world languages and cultures taught on campus, said Dr. Harald Menz, the college’s director of international studies.

The first Fulbright teaching assistant at Bethany added Arabic language and culture to the curriculum. Based on the success of that program, the college added a teaching assistant in Mandarin Chinese in 2015, Menz said. This year marks the first time Bethany has hosted a Fulbright Scholar in French.

The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is designed to develop Americans’ knowledge of foreign cultures and languages. Educators from more than 50 countries teach more than 30 languages at hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities, according to the Fulbright website.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.