Christina Daniels-Freeman ‘16, a strategic communications and international studies double major from Durham, N.C., will spend nine months teaching English in Turkey as part of a federal program that promotes mutual good will between people of the United States and people of other nations.
By Sarah Collins ‘18
An Elon University senior and former Gilman Scholar will spend a year in Turkey as a cultural ambassador for the United States with support from a 2016-2017 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
Daniels-Freeman spent her spring 2015 semester in Turkey, where she developed a passion for the country’s culture. “After studying abroad in Istanbul, I realized that I loved getting to know the world,” she said. “I always say that I didn’t have too much culture shock because I expected things to be different when I was abroad, and I found that I thrived on those challenges.”
Her study abroad experience was funded by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the award supports students with financial need who plan to pursue international education. In her Fulbright year, Christina intends to build on a multimedia project that aims to relay the nuanced and diverse stories of Turkish citizens, which she developed as a Gilman Scholar.
Jullie Lellis, Associate Professor of Communications, worked with Christina as her professor and her internship supervisor. She notes that “Christina is a committed and hard-working individual who always set a good example for other Elon students. She is passionate about helping solve issues abroad, and I know she will be a wonderful teacher and a great ambassador for the United States.”
Following her Fulbright experience, Daniels-Freeman hopes to work in the communications department of an international non-governmental organization. “Having experience living abroad and working in unfamiliar situations will enhance my ability to work with people from all over the world,” she said. “The independence gained from traveling alone, experience in many unfamiliar situations, and time spent teaching a room full of students who do not speak my language will provide me with transferable leadership skills, the ability to adapt to any situation, and an intercultural competency that is only gained through living and learning in a foreign environment.”
An involved member of the Elon community, Daniels-Freeman served as a head staff member for New Student Orientation, the Campus Campaign Coordinator for Teach for America, and a member of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. During summer 2014, she participated in the Study USA program Elon in New York.
Daniels-Freeman is one of over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
Since its establishment under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Christina, a 2012 graduate of Durham School of the Arts, is the daughter of Amy Daniels and Sandy Freeman of Durham, N.C.
Elon students and recent alums interested in the Fulbright program or other nationally competitive fellowships are invited to visit the National and International Fellowships Office in Powell building or by calling (336) 278-5749.