College of Charleston Alum Accepted to Fulbright Austria Program

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Riley Mazey '24 will spend nine months in Vienna examining the Austrian public education system as part of the Fulbright Austria U.S. Teaching Assistant Program.

Riley Mazey
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When Riley Mazey ’24 came to the College of Charleston four years ago, she fully intended to study music theory and composition. But soon after arriving on campus, she discovered an unexpected new passion. 

“I decided to take German to fulfill my foreign language requirement for the College and absolutely fell in love with the language-learning process,” she says.

Mazey admits that she quickly became addicted to learning a second language.

“I started listening to music in German and watching TV shows, and I really enjoyed the fun parts of language learning,” she says. “I wanted to show others how rewarding language learning can be.”

This fall, Mazey will have the opportunity to share the fun. Beginning in October, Mazey will spend nine months in Vienna participating in the Fulbright Austria U.S. Teaching Assistant Program. The program allows students from the United States the ability to pursue independent research in Austria. 

“The Fulbright Austria USTA Program is an invaluable experience that allows students to gain international experience and immerse themselves in a different culture,” says Sidney Woram, associate director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. “Riley will gain new skills and expand her intellectual and cultural horizons. We can’t wait for her to embark on these adventures.”

During her time in Vienna, Mazey wants to examine the Austrian public education system and compare it to the United States system. She also wants to expand her abilities to teach a foreign language, develop lesson plans and create activities to engage students. She looks forward to learning outside the classroom setting, too.

“I’m really excited to soak up the culture and go to all the museums, especially with my music background,” she says. “Where better to go than Vienna?”

Mazey graduated magna cum laude from the College of Charleston in May with bachelor of arts degrees in German and music. Along with preparing for her time in Austria, she is also mapping out her future. After her Fulbright opportunity is completed next year, Mazey expects to apply to graduate schools and eventually pursue a Ph.D. in linguistics with aspirations of teaching German and linguistics at the collegiate level. 

She credits her College of Charleston professors for her newfound passion for language.

“I just really love the faculty in our German department,” she says. “The relationships I was able to foster with my professors will continue to inform me while I’m working in Austria and as I continue into graduate school.”

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