Student News

Doctoral student Alex Lowry selected by U.S. State Department to teach in Nepal

Alex Lowry

  • Lowry is keeping a blog about his adventures in Nepal.

The U.S. Department of State has selected School of Education doctoral student Alex Lowry for a 10-month fellowship project conducting English teacher training in Nepal.

Lowry is one of 165 U.S. citizens selected for the 2015-2016 English Language Fellow Program.

Lowry, of Great Falls, Va., is pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. He has worked abroad before, teaching for six years in Korea, including at the Korea University in Seoul, and two years in Armenia teaching writing as an English Language Fellow.

Lowry did his undergraduate work at James Madison University, majoring in English and media arts and design. He also complete a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at American University in Washington, D.C.

In Nepal, Lowry will teach at Tribhuvan University at its campus in the city of Pokhara.

“I'm looking forward to collaborating with my new peers at Tribhuvan University and the Nepali English Language Teachers Association, and also observing the nascent democracy take shape here in Nepal,” Lowry said via email.

Lowry said the fellowship program provides an opportunity for teachers to build dynamism and resilience.

“We encounter new and unpredictable problems that often arise from dealing with another culture, or from the different classroom environments,” he said. “However, fellows also benefit from professional support from the embassy as well as the community of practice at their host institution.

“I'm not sure where else I would be able to gain this experience, and when I was offered this opportunity for a second time, I could not turn it down,” he said.

Those chosen to participate in the English Language Fellow program demonstrate significant experience teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and a commitment to the field of English language teaching and learning, the State Department said in a news release.

The English Language Fellow Program is the premiere opportunity for highly qualified TESOL professionals to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad, the State Department said. Through projects developed by U.S. embassies in more than 80 developing countries, fellows work directly with local teachers, students, and educational professionals to enhance the quality of English language instruction offered at universities and other academic institutions.

Since 1969, the English Language Fellow Program has sent thousands of scholars, teachers, and TESOL professionals on projects to help students acquire English language skills, lead teacher training, develop curriculum and resources, and conduct program evaluations, the State Department said. These projects are challenging and the teachers selected represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community. In return, the program provides professional development opportunities to help participants build skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers back home.

English Language Fellows are among the more than 50,000 people who participate in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The English Language Fellow Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.