SUNY Oswego alumnus Jesse Corfield plans to continue his dedication to education and international service through teaching English in Brazil via the prestigious U.S. Fulbright Student Program.

The 2014 graduate with a Spanish major and linguistics minor is a Fulbright finalist, a candidate who has been offered a Fulbright U.S. Student grant, contingent upon host country approvals, medical clearance and submission of all required grant documents.

His interest in international education began when he took a short study-abroad course to Guatemala in his freshman year and "after that I was hooked on traveling," he said. The Auburn resident also has developed an interest in education.

"I love teaching," Corfield said. "I just finished (an assignment with) Peace Corps in Albania, where I was a classroom teacher for two years, teaching English." His experience included working with elementary through middle-school students, collaborating with other teachers to design and deliver English-language classes and helping broaden students' perspectives.

His nine-month assignment in Brazil is scheduled to begin in February, teaching university students who plan to become English teachers. English Teaching Assistant programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers while serving as cultural ambassadors.

"I'll be helping them to become better teachers but also helping them to learn different nuances of the language," he explained.

He expects to learn the more exact location in November, His preparation includes studying more Portuguese, plus getting insight and suggestions from friends who are more familiar with the language and country.

"I'm really excited to get off the plane and just be able to communicate and get to the school and meet everybody," Corfield said. "And of course to try the food."

Fulbright participants are encouraged to get involved in their communities and Corfield -- who plans to attend graduate school to become a teacher when he returns -- hopes to get involved in youth activities and make a difference in the place he will call home from most of 2018.

Whether or not students dream as big as applying for the Fulbright program, Corfield encourages anybody to be open to new experiences.

"Just be honest and willing to put yourself out there and embrace getting uncomfortable," he said. "I say go for it and do it -- professionally and personally, your perspective will become different."

About the program

Corfield is one of more 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English and provide expertise abroad for the upcoming academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Candidates are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

For more information on Fulbright and related programs at SUNY Oswego, visit the college's Institute for Global Engagement website at