TESL miner Gabe Feinn receives Gilman scholarship to study abroad
Gabe Feinn of Louisville is a Chinese major in the Chinese flagship program with minors in child studies and teaching English as a second language. For the second time, Feinn won the Benjamin A. Gilman International Fellowship to study abroad, which gives students who receive Pell grants the opportunity to study language and culture around the world. Feinn will travel to Taiwan in the spring of 2023 to study at a Taiwanese university and complete an immersive one-year academic internship.
“I always knew that I wanted to be bilingual and that I wanted to study another language intensely,” Feinn said. “Being in an immersive environment is essentially a prerequisite for studying languages.” Feinn fell in love with Taiwan on his first trip in 2020, and studying abroad there a second time is both an exciting and daunting prospect. During the program, students must speak Chinese all the time. As daunting as that sounds, Feinn knows it will improve his conversation skills, especially outside of the academic setting.
Targeting what the Gilman scholarship was looking for seemed to be the trick that allowed Feinn to win twice. “They’re really looking for people who understand what their goals are through their language skills,” Feinn said. “I’ve written about how I see language as an imperative; speaking someone’s native language is an imperative part of relationship building.
Feinn plans to work in family and relationship counseling after graduation and will use her study abroad experiences and teaching English as a minor second language to better connect with families from different backgrounds. and different cultures. “It’s going to give me a much deeper understanding of bicultural and bilingual families, and it’s obviously going to allow me to converse with a wider range of clients and help them as personally as possible,” Feinn said.