Fulbright Scholar, Indonesia Native Graduating from UCF with Degree in TESOL

By: Mila Chial on

Pontianak, Indonesia, native Endah Setya Ningsih has always had a passion for teaching others. After completing her undergraduate degree in English language education in teacher training and education faculty at Universitas Tanjungpura, she wanted to broaden her horizons and learn new teaching methods in an international community. Her interest in teaching English led her to pursue various educational exchange programs in the United States.

In 2016, Ningsih took part in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in TESOL, a short-term program for emerging foreign leaders. After returning to Indonesia in 2017, she became involved in a project called Emerging Future Community Teacher (EFCT), for which she was awarded a U.S. Exchange Alumni grant. The project aims to provide pre-service training for English teachers in Pontianak, which is in Indonesia’s province of West Kalimantan, on English language teaching strategies and leadership skills to help them improve education in rural communities.

Ningsih found her way to UCF in 2021 as part of the Fulbright Scholars program — one of the largest and most prestigious educational exchange programs worldwide. The program, administered by the U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, awards approximately 8,000 grants each year to recent graduates, graduate students, and young professionals to continue their development through research and study in a foreign country.

Ningsih has completed her master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and will be graduating from UCF this week. She describes how studying at UCF allowed her to further her knowledge of language and cultures while providing her with new skills she can use to teach students.

“As an international student, I received full support from my professors, faculty, staff, and friends from starting my first semester in online learning in Indonesia until I came here,” she says.

Ningsih knows that the rich breadth of knowledge she attained at the university and the expertise imparted by her professors have equipped her with a strong foundation in English language teaching.

“All my professors in the TESOL program inspire me to be an English teacher who will be able to provide a good support for students from various social-cultural backgrounds — to become a teacher who not only teaches the language but also respects the differences within individuals,” she says. Ningsih is also inspired by her mother, who encourages her to help people with her knowledge.

However, the most rewarding part of her experience at UCF was getting the opportunity to teach English and work with immigrant students in EOL classes.

“This is a rare and valuable experience for me as an English as a foreign language teacher,” Ningsih says. The opportunity taught her new methods of language teaching and how to support immigrant students in class. “I am grateful to have such an experience.”

After graduation, Ningsih plans to teach at a university and work with pre-service teachers. She advises her peers to enjoy their studies and to have some fun with the UCF community.

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