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Three students accept Austrian scholarships

By Philip Ellefson
On April 20, 2012

In addition to the six Fulbright awards given to UP students, three students earned awards from the Austrian-American Educational Commission.

The Austrian-American Educational Commission, which is affiliated with Fulbright program, sends 140 U.S. students to Austria each year to be English teaching assistants. Seniors Mary Dolan O'Brien, Jocelyne LaFortune, Holly Duffy, Bianca McCluskey and Jessica Marsh won this award, although McCluskey and Marsh are accepting their Fulbright awards instead.

LaFortune, who studied in Salzburg during her sophomore year, will be teaching at two schools in Ried im Innkreis, a town about 35 miles north of Salzburg. She is excited to go back to Austria.

"I've wanted to go abroad ever since I stepped off the plane here two years ago, so it's really exciting," LaFortune said.

LaFortune, a German studies and English double major, has also studied French, Latin, Spanish and Japanese. She looks forward to the educational opportunities she will have during her teaching assistantship.

"I think that for one it'll give me time to figure out what I want to do," LaFortune said. "Beyond that, I'm really interested in language acquisition and how people learn languages."

Duffy, a German studies and communication double major who also studied in Salzburg during her sophomore year, will be teaching in St. Johann im Pongau in the state of Salzburg.

Duffy said her experience in Salzburg solidified her plans to go abroad after graduation.

"I was there my sophomore year, and I liked it then," Duffy said. "It's kind of been a plan since freshman year."

Dolan O'Brien, a communication and German studies double major, also studied in Salzburg her sophomore year, will be teaching in Vienna.

"I am really excited," Dolan O'Brien said. "I could not be happier. This is an awesome opportunity, and I'm happy to go back to Austria. Das geht ab."

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