BETHANY, W.Va. – Dorcas Raber ’22 will return to the classroom in the fall as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany.

“I was surprised and shocked,” Raber said of receiving her letter. “Although I was confident in my application, I also knew that the position was competitive and that not every good application is chosen.”

The acceptance rate for Fulbright applicants is about 20 percent.

Raber, of Kidron, Ohio, graduates from Bethany College magna cum laude with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in German.

She received the Leonora Balla Cayard Prize as Bethany’s outstanding German student and the Pearl Mahaffey Prize as the outstanding senior majoring in World Languages and Cultures.

The English Teaching Assistant Program place Fulbright Scholars in classrooms abroad to assist local English teachers. In addition to providing instruction, the teaching assistants serve as cultural ambassadors for the United States.

The Fulbright Program began in 1946 to promote international understanding and cooperation after World War II.

She applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to learn more about where she wants to go with her career. She also wanted the opportunity to live in Germany, immersed in the German language, as a way to improve her own fluency.

As part of the Bethany curriculum, Raber studied abroad through the Heidelberg Program at the Padagogische Hochschule in Heidelberg, Germany.

“My upbringing and first language of Pennsylvania Dutch really encouraged an interest in German and Germany from an early age,” Raber said. “As I grew older, my interests also increased, so choosing German Studies as my major felt natural.”

Dr. Harald Menz, professor of World Languages and Cultures (German) and director of international studies a Bethany, praised Raber’s strong German language and culture backgrounds.

“Her coursework at Bethany also includes courses in linguistics, language teaching methods and teaching ESL, all of which will be relevant for her work in Germany,” he said.

Recipients of Fulbright grants in Germany see placements in rural or urban areas and in primary schools, secondary schools, vocation or technical schools or other educational or community institutions.

Bethany’s last Fulbright Scholar was Vanessa Plumly ’07. Plumly who studied German and history at Bethany. After her Fulbright placement, she continued her German studies, attaining a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. She now teaches German at the university level.

Raber said she is looking forward to learning of her destination in mid to late July.

“As of now, I am planning to focus on my ETA job and connecting with the community and students,” she said.

After she completes her Fulbright, Raber is considering attending graduate school for linguistics or English as a Second Language but said she has other interests as well.

“I am hoping that my experience abroad will enlighten where I’d like to go and what I pursue next,” she said.