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Saint Mary’s senior considers post-grad offers

| Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The end of the year is usually a time seniors scramble to make decisions on post-graduation opportunities, but Saint Mary’s senior and accounting major Meghan Flanagan finally knows what awaits her.

Flanagan was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Germany and an acceptance into the U.S. Teaching Assistant Program of the Austrian Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs. After comparing the two opportunities, she confirmed her acceptance to the Austrian Program over the weekend.

“I chose the one in Austria because the location is better [and] there’s less of a risk,” Flanagan said. “For the program in Germany, I wouldn’t have known where I was living until after I committed. People that I have talked to said to go with the Austria program because the one in Germany could either be in a university city or in the middle of nowhere, and I wouldn’t know that until I was already in.

“The dates work out a lot better too because I have to take the CPA exam this summer,” Flanagan said. “My orientation for the Germany program would have begun September 12th. … It just seemed like everything was pointing to Austria as the better option.”

Flanagan said many students are chosen as alternates for the program and do not find out if they can teach until late summer. She said she believes her eight years of learning German benefited her in gaining acceptance into not one, but two language related programs.

“I was pretty proud of myself when I found out,” Flanagan said. “It’s really rewarding because I feel like the past four years I’ve been working really hard and now it’s finally starting to pay off. It was really nice to have the option between the two countries. I’m really thankful that I heard right away, and that I was accepted as a candidate for both rather than an alternate.”

During her time at Saint Mary’s, Flanagan studied abroad in Innsbruck, Austria. She said this time she is excited to return as a teacher rather than a student.

“It’s not so much about teaching English, but it’s more so a really good way to spend time abroad long term,” Flanagan said. “I’m not just traveling and I’m not just seeing a big city for a few days but I’m actually living there, and I’ll be immersed into the culture. It’s kind of like a post grad study abroad, but I’m not the one studying.

“It’s more about pushing myself out of my comfort zone.”

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