One University of New Mexico student is joining the rare ranks of Fulbright recipients for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Latin American Studies master’s student Miguel Sabol just received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award to Brazil. 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals from all backgrounds. During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks.  

Sabol says he has always had a passion for learning languages himself, and took on this challenge after receiving his Bachelor's of Arts in International Studies and Spanish from UNM. He also earned minors in Portuguese and Communication & Journalism with an Honors Distinction in International Studies in 2021.

Sabol has also been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for beginner study of Portuguese in 2020, and currently holds a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for advanced Portuguese provided by the Latin American and Iberian Institute.

He says UNM’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese allowed him to teach Spanish for the past four semesters, developing his interest in teaching languages as well. 

“I would like to thank professors Eva Rodríguez González and Ana Gabriela Hernández González for their teaching guidance and support over the past two years,” he said. “I am also thankful for my first Portuguese instructors, Alex Maggioni and Marina Todeschini, for making the classes much more than just about language learning, and fostering my interest in Brazilian history and culture.”  

Sabol would also like to thank Honors College Scholarship & Outreach Manager Kiyoko Simmons, Portuguese Program Coordinator Jessica Carey-Webb and International Studies Institute Associate Director Ian Stewart.

“Without them and numerous other faculty and friends from the university, giving support, none of this would be possible,” he said.

In addition to languages and Brazilian cultural studies, Sabol has interests in diplomacy, critical development studies, and human rights issues. He hopes to one day work in the U.S. Foreign Service and help others take part in international education opportunities and cultural exchanges. 

“I am immensely excited to travel to and teach in Brazil as I have been learning about the country and the language since before the pandemic,” Sabol said.

UNM has a strong Fulbright community, having produced close to 100 Fulbright awardees since 2010. UNM is also one of just 43 Hispanic-Serving Institutions named as a Fulbright HSI Leader.

Individuals can learn more about the Fulbright Scholarship and upcoming Assistantships by registering for in-person and virtual information sessions, visit the National & International Scholarships and Fellowships Office.