Emily Ferlis

Emily Ferris

Posted in Case Studies

English Language Fellow in Bulgaria taught English and American culture at the University of Plovdiv

As an English Language Fellow in Bulgaria, Emily Ferlis taught English and American culture at the University of Plovdiv. In addition to her responsibilities at the university, she also traveled throughout Bulgaria and Eastern Europe conducting workshops for teachers. Ferlis enjoyed the fact that she had a lot of flexibility in what she was able to work on.

I had a lot of experiences that I wouldn’t have had as a teacher in the United States.

Emily Ferlis, English Language Fellow

One semester, she taught a business English course, and the next semester she taught a course called “New York City: past, present, and future through documentary film.”

Beyond the professional aspects of her time abroad, Ferlis enjoyed the personal relationships that she made with her students, her teachers, and the people in her community.

I felt like they really embraced me into their community and wanted to learn more about American culture through me.”

Emily Ferlis, English Language Fellow

After coming back to the United States, Ferlis earned her Ph.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), took a full time job as an EFL teacher in a middle school and later became the Associate Director of the Intensive English Program at VCU and she knows that the experience she gained as a Fellow helped her get there. She went on to receive a prestigious fellowship from the Presidential Management Fellows Program, a U.S. government program that places talented individuals in federal agencies. Through that program, she started working with the Department of Education and afterwords with the U.S. Department of State.

It was such a unique experience, I was able to engage in training teachers in a way that I think would be very difficult to do here. Being a Fellow definitely impacted my career and helped put me into the position to do what I’m doing now.

Emily Ferlis, English Language Fellow

The English Language Programs is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Related Program


English Language Programs

The English Language Programs is a U.S. Department of State public diplomacy initiative that sends highly trained and qualified TESOL professionals to work at academic institutions around the world. Program participants teach English, train teachers, develop academic and cultural programs, and much more.