Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Woods High student named Congressional Fulbright Scholar

Spring Woods High’s Annie Lui is the definition of a global citizen. Fascinated by culture and the human language, she’s embarking on what will be her third international move to Germany in early August as a Congressional Fulbright Scholar.
Lui was born in the United States, but moved with her parents to Hong Kong when she was a child. Four years ago, she decided to come back to stay with her aunt and uncle for high school so she could improve her English. Her return to the United States made traveling to other parts of the world more appealing.

“When I moved back here four years ago, I became interested in traveling and learning different languages. I really want to see Europe because I’ve never been so I started looking for exchange programs in a number of countries there earlier this year,” Lui said.

Lui’s current French teacher, Claire Breaux, told her about the Congressional Fulbright Scholarship (CBYX) that Breaux was selected for in 1993. After speaking with her and Michael Stoneham, a former Spring Woods student who won the CBYX Scholarship two years ago, she decided to apply.

This prestigious scholarship covers a week’s stay in Washington, D.C., where she will meet U.S. senators and congressional representatives who provide scholarship funds and tour many national landmarks. Funds will also cover travel to and from Germany, several excursions throughout the year, and a month long language camp when she arrives in Germany.

Lui will live with a host family and go to German high school, or “Gymnasium” as it is called, for 11 months.

Lui doesn’t currently speak any German, but she is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese and English; she hopes to add German to the list by the end of her stay.

“When I came to the U.S. my English was really bad, but I adjusted and managed to get good grades, so I am more excited than nervous to move to an entirely new country,” Lui said.

“I love learning new languages because a language represents a history or culture of a group of people, and I think it is fascinating to see how other people perceive the world.”

In the months leading up to Lui’s departure she plans to start familiarizing herself with the German language through lessons with Mrs. Breaux.  The exact date of her departure hasn’t been set, but it’s expected to be sometime in late June or early August.

Communications Dept. intern Kali Venable of Stratford High wrote this story.


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