“Wanted: Foreigner model for tourism advertisement. White only, please.” I glanced over the ad posted on the foreigner Facebook page for the city of Jeonju. What followed was a tense discussion in the community about the ad’s content with the original poster finally declaring, “stop bringing your [western] ideas of race into this. Korea is different!” For me, it was another Tuesday in Jeonju.”
Alumna Nikki Brueggeman (MA Japan Studies, 2015), an East Asia Center FLAS Fellow in Japanese (2014-15), recently wrote about her experience in South Korea as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant of color. Published by the Fulbright Korea Alumni Relations Committee, the article includes specific exchanges she and a colleague had in South Korea regarding blackness and black culture. She writes, “While we face challenges, it is in these moments that Fulbrighters of Color step forward to humanize the situation and expand dialogues.”
Nikki was an English Teaching Assistant with Fulbright Korea from 2015-17 and just accepted a new position as an Education Program Officer for the World Affairs Council in San Francisco.
FLAS Fellowships are funded by the International and Foreign Language Education Office of the U.S. Department of Education. FLAS fellowships support undergraduate, graduate and professional students in acquiring modern foreign languages and area or international studies competencies. Students from all UW departments and professional schools are encouraged to apply. Find out more about the FLAS Fellowship here.