Amanda Langan, VHS ’13, Wins Fulbright

By on April 19, 2018

Amanda LanganAmanda Langan, who graduated Verona High School with the class of 2013, has received a Student Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award that will send her back to Argentina. Langan is currently finishing her senior year at SUNY Geneseo in upstate New York, where she is a Spanish education major.

“I’ve always kind of had an obsession with Argentina,” says Langan. She first went to the country with AFS-USA during the summer after her sophomore year at VHS and returned in 2017 on a semester abroad program with Geneseo. Under the Student Fulbright ETA program, Langan will work at an Argentinian teachers college, helping to prepare its students to teach English and serving as an ambassador of American culture. The ETA program, which can also place teaching assistants in classrooms from primary through secondary school, is one of several Fulbright programs administered by the U.S. State Department.

It has been a long journey for Langan to find her calling in education. After graduating from VHS, where she was one of the rare 1,000 point-scorers for girls basketball, Langan did a gap year in Ecuador with a program called Global Citizen Year. Upon returning to the U.S., she went to Indiana University’s business school for a year before transferring to Geneseo.

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Langan applied for the Fulbright program last fall at the urging of one of her friends, but had thought that she might have been too late for the highly competitive program. There are only 24 ETA grants for Argentina, far less than many of the other countries in which the program operates. Colleges that participate in the Fulbright programs have an on-campus advisor, and Langan’s application passed muster at Geneseo. She heard in late March that she had gotten the award.

Though Langan doesn’t know yet exactly where she will be placed in Argentina, she is hoping that it will once again be somewhere close to the family that hosted her as an AFS exchange student. The Banuelos family lives close to Cordoba, Argentina’s university center and the site of SUNY Geneseo’s study abroad program. That made it possible for Langan to visit the family on weekends during her semester abroad and go with them on their family vacation to Iguazu Falls. Langan still chats with the family’s daughter Roberta every day and hosted Roberta and her mother in New Jersey earlier this year.

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The Fulbright program doesn’t begin until the start of Argentina’s next college year in March 2019. Langan hopes to work as a substitute Spanish teacher somewhere until then. And after she returns from South America? “I don’t know too much about my future,” says the peripatetic Langan, “but I know that Spanish and teaching will have a role in it.”

Langan with her former AFS host family at Iguazu Falls during her semester abroad in college.

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    2 Comments

    1. Julia Martin

      April 20, 2018 at 9:59 am

      This is an excellent article, Virgnia! I learned more about the Fulbright program from you than anything else I’d read. Thank you for the consistently great journalism; Verona is so fortunate to have you.

    2. Monica Goble

      April 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Wonderful and uplifting on many levels. She’s outstanding. The world needs more like her.

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