Fields Chewning ’22 began taking German courses as a first-year student at Wofford College and soon committed to taking a deep dive to understand the language and culture.
“I knew that to push myself to know more German and become competent in the language, I would need to fully immerse myself in German,” says Chewning, a German and math major from Spartanburg.
Her grasp of the language has led to her earning a Fulbright Fellowship. She’s the college’s 15th Fulbright Fellow in the past 14 years and the sixth chosen for Germany in that span.
“Fields has been highly motivated to improve her German since she started at Wofford,” says Dr. Kirsten Krick-Aigner, professor of German. “Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, she didn’t get a chance to study abroad in a German-speaking country. However, she continued to seek out ways to live and study and now work in Germany. She put a tremendous effort into her Fulbright application, and her personal essay demonstrates her commitment to reaching her goal.”
Chewning will spend the 2022-23 academic year teaching English in Brandeburg, a state in northeast Germany. She’s awaiting details on the city and the school assignment.
“I am hoping to be able to thoughtfully and intentionally engage with the community where I am placed,” she says.
Thoughtful and intentional describes her approach to understanding the German language and culture these past four years.
“Learning German is not only the language but also the culture and the people involved, and learning German made me excited to learn more and want to one day be a part of this community,” says Chewning, who’s co-president of the Wofford German Club.
She appreciates Krick-Aigner and Juliane Will, German program language assistant, for exposing her to various aspects of the country’s culture, including a traditional German breakfast and discussions about German festivals. As a junior, she began working as a teaching assistant with the German School of the Upstate.
Chewning spent Interim 2022 in Freiburg, Germany, for an independent study language immersion program. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in either German or math after her year as a Fulbright Fellow.
“I’m so proud of her achievements and know she will excel in whatever she does in the future,” says Krick-Aigner.