Jenna Hagengruber graduated from UNM as a member of the Class of 2016, with majors in both English and Philosophy. Her passions for writing and thinking developed at an early age. "I pursued an English degree because reading and writing were always my absolute favorite activites growing up, and I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be an English teacher at a high school in New Mexico."
When she had the chance to apply to be a Fulbright Scholar in the Fall of her senior year, she took it. She was shocked to find out she had received the Fulbright Grant only two weeks before graduation. As a result of the grant, she is currently living in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, serving as an English Teaching Assistant at the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Islamic Sciences, where she teaches English as a second language to students ranging from pre-schoolers to professors.
Her grant covers a 9 month period, and in her time in Bosnia thus far, she has been able to create and implement her own classes where she teaches a variety of topics to her college students. Her classes have ventured into the complex world of American politics, learned how to create a resume, talked about the cultural differences between Bosnia and America, and discussed the reason that Halloween is a “holiday” only in certain cultures. This is the first time she has ever lived away from Albuquerque, and is also the first time she has ever ventured outside of the country.
Hagengruber readily acknowledges the importance of her education. "I am grateful to UNM and all that I learned in my four years as an undergraduate student, especially in the English Department. The skills I garnered from my classes have most definitely been put into practice as I attempt to be an English teacher in a foreign country."
Moreover, her experiences outside the University have given her a new perspective. "I know that the education I received at UNM is comparable to that of the top universities in the nation, and I most definitely credit UNM for so much of my success now."
Hagengruber writes and maintains a weekly blog about her journey 6,000 miles away. Read more about her and her experiences at. https://hagengruberhappenings.wordpress.com/