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With more than 1,600 U.S. students earning Fulbright Scholarships this year, Jack Galloway didn't think he was a sure thing when he filled out his application.
"The Fulbright application process takes a lot of energy and patience," he said. "It's a very competitive program, and I can only say that I am deeply honored and excited by the opportunity."
But Galloway, a native of Shelby County, did earn one of those spots, joining an exclusive club of 294,000 who have earned the Fulbright, 110,000 of whom are from the United States.
The program, which began in 1946 and is named after Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright, is supported by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) under an agreement with the U.S. Department of State.
According to the foundation's Web site, each year the program sends about 800 U.S. faculty and professionals to 155 countries to lecture, research or participate in seminars. Another 800 foreign faculty also come to the U.S. for the same opportunities.
Galloway, whose parents, Debra and Edward, live on Dover Road, was able to turn his love of German cultures and the language into his Fulbright opportunity.
Galloway is now in Iserlohn, Germany, in western part of the country, teaching English as a foreign language.
"I was tickled pink from the get-go to know that I had been selected, but the day-to-day realities of living and working in such a foreign place were beyond my grasp in the months leading up to my departure," he said.
Although he is gaining valuable experience as a teacher and learns from traveling throughout Germany and surrounding European countries, Galloway is using American culture to teach Europeans more about us and to help keep him from missing home too much.
"I've headed up an American Culture Club, where we discuss everything from the World Series to bluegrass music to the Civil War,” he said. “Also, I want to immerse myself in German society. To that end, I've joined a basketball team in a regional league."
While Galloway earned a minor in German Literature along with his BA in history at McGill University in Montreal, his love for the culture and language dated back to Louisville Collegiate, where he attended high school.
"I opted to study German in high school, and, thanks in large part to a particularly great teacher, I grew fascinated with German culture and language, leading me to continue my Germanic studies in college," he said. "I particularly admire German literature and music, and I find its complex history fascinating.
“Until this year, I had spent only a few days in Germany, so I felt the need to put these studies to good use by spending a prolonged period there."
Looking to the future, Galloway said this opportunity in Germany is a good start.
"My goals for my year here in Germany are to gain experience in teaching, see as much of Europe as possible and to share as much about the United States and the English language with my students as possible," he said.
But after that, his life is much less planned.
"My goals for after this year are much less concrete," he said. "In the long run, I'd like to become a literature teacher and basketball coach. I also want to continue my travels abroad, perhaps in Asia."