Brianna Adams graduated from The University of Alabama in 2015 and is spending her second year in the Czech Republic where she lives in Otrokovice, a city in the Morava region of the country. In Otrokovice, she is undertaking the English Teaching Assistant Program, where she teaches students ranging from 11 to 19.
Adams was offered this amazing opportunity through the Fulbright Scholarship, which she applied to after encouragement from a friend. She admits that choosing where to go was the hardest part about the application. Due to her lack of knowledge of foreign languages, Adams was forced to cut the Fulbright list of locations significantly. She ultimately chose the Czech Republic but not the specific area.
To Adams’s knowledge, she is the first Alabama Fulbright Scholar to be stationed in Morava. She immediately loved the region, where the people and culture have made Adams a firm believer in the word “Yes.” Oftentimes, Adams finds herself playing volleyball at seven in the morning or trying dishes that she struggles to pronounce.
Adams advises students who may be hesitant about applying for a Fulbright Scholarship not to be “own worst enemy,” meaning that you will miss out on new challenges and experiences if you decline invitations. Adams believes many college students often find themselves enclosed in their on-campus communities. Moving out of that security and into the world outside of their college campus can be a cultural change. She finds that immersing herself in her new environment has been very beneficial. She is now involved with the town choir. Not only is this a hobby of hers, but it allows her to work on the language and pronunciation.
The hospitality Adams has received while on the trip has taken her by surprise. She claims to have never received this much hospitality before. Adams says that “The Moravian people are incredibly warm-hearted and generous.” While the language barrier can prove frustrating and isolating, this barrier does not stop Moravians from communicating with Adams through the bountiful dishes they prepare for her, once again proving that their generosity, kindness, and genuine desire to share cultural traditions can teach us all how to respond to the strangers in our own communities.