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SLU-Madrid Fulbright Recipients Off to Ghana and Mexico

by Isaiah Voss

Sierra Zima ('20) and Krysta Couzi ('23) become Saint Louis University—Madrid's latest Fulbrighters. SLU-Madrid continues to foster global citizenship with five Fulbright participants in the past three years.

Side-by-side headshots of Krysta Couzi and Sierra Zima.

Krysta Couzi (left) and Sierra Zima (right). Submitted photos.


Krysta Couzi ('23) 

Couzi studied abroad at SLU-Madrid during the spring 2022 term. She received an English Teaching Assistantship to Ghana from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. 

"After teaching ESL during my time abroad in Madrid, I knew that I wanted to continue teaching at some point in my life," Couzi said. I heard about the Fulbright more in-depth during that time and thought it was a great opportunity to not only teach English but also immerse myself in a cultural exchange. With my father being from West Africa, I knew I wanted to continue my endeavors of learning about his upbringing, while also utilizing my skills to give back to the community, which is why I specifically chose to pursue Ghana for my ETA."

"Throughout my time in Ghana, I will be teaching and learning simultaneously. My hope is that I allow myself to be open to new ideas, immerse myself in the new environment, create meaningful friendships and relationships, and be a transformative leader. It's extremely important to me that I establish myself as part of the community while understanding that I'm also there to learn and understand — I am not the expert, and while I will be teaching and providing useful skills, there is still an entire culture and its people I will respect and learn from. Going in with this mindset will help me both personally and professionally while I'm there, and allow me to truly dive into what life is like for the people of Ghana."

Sierra Zima ('20)

Zima graduated from SLU-Madrid in 2020 with degrees in international business and Spanish. She received the Binational Business Program to Mexico Award from the Fulbright program. 

"This Fulbright grant has the best of both worlds: real-world internship experience and in-class MBA coursework," Zima said. "I knew I wanted to take my career in international business further with a more international resume and eventually get an MBA, so this program seemed like a perfect fit for me. I applied for this grant last year and was named an alternate. While initially discouraged, I truly felt this grant aligned well with my personal and professional goals, so I applied again — and I'm happy I did."

"With the combination of classroom education and hands-on work experience in Mexico, this grant will allow me to continue exploring my passions for food and sustainability, learn from the experts, and share cultural and industry knowledge with peers."

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected through a merit-based competition that considers academics, personal qualifications, language preparation, the quality of the proposed project, and how it fits into Fulbright's aim of promoting mutual understanding among nations.

Fulbright alumni from the U.S. and worldwide have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, and education. Among the ranks of Fulbright alumni are 62 Nobel Prize recipients, 78 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 41 current or former heads of state or government. 
About SLU-Madrid

The Madrid Campus was established as a study abroad program in the 1960s and has evolved into a recognized center of international education in Spain. Today, SLU-Madrid educates students from around the world, providing four-year U.S. undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and in the case of study abroad students, credits toward degrees at their home institutions. SLU-Madrid was the first foreign university recognized and authorized by the regional government of Madrid.