Two Recent Graduates Head to Hong Kong to Teach

WASHINGTON, Pa. (September 4, 2013)—Two years after Savannah Sprowls and Molly Anthony first met on an Intersession trip to China, the 2013 Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) graduates are in Hong Kong, working together as English tutors in the Center for English and Additional Languages at Lingnan University. Sprowls and Anthony are two of just three recent college graduates from the United States chosen to be a part of the Lingnan University program.

Sprowls is an international studies major from Claysville, Pa.; Anthony is a graduate of Hempfield Area High School and an international studies and French double major from Irwin, Pa.

Both Sprowls and Anthony spent time studying abroad while at W&J, which helped prepare them for the opportunity. Anthony spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Grenoble, France, and Sprowls made four  trips to China (Jan 2011, May-June 2011, June 2013 and Sept 2012-January 2013) and one to France (Jan 2012).  Both are Magellan scholars.

Sprowls and Anthony will be program coordinators, teaching English writing, reading and language skills.

A warm welcome awaited them in Hong Kong.

“The reason I believe these two fresh graduates of Washington & Jefferson College will be successful is that the institution, although being rather small, has been producing graduates who realize that the future lies not only in their own backyard,” said Marc Lebane from Lingnan University. “For the past three years the visiting tutors at Lingnan have used this opportunity not for the money, but to grow as individuals, experience new cultures and people, and to use this time to determine their future path."

Sprowls spent her most recent Intersession studying in Korea. Before attending W&J, she had never traveled outside North America. International travel, Sprowls says, has given her the ability to adapt to a variety of situations. Upon her return from France in 2012, the opportunity in Hong Kong presented itself. The idea of moving abroad after graduation became even more appealing when she heard that Anthony was considering a similar position.

“I am so excited about this next stage in my life,” Sprowls said. “I was prepared to do it alone, but I’m so happy Molly will be with me. I just said to her, ‘let’s do it.’”

Anthony also looks at the tutoring position at Lingnan University as an opportunity she could not pass up, joining Sprowls in praising W&J’s international studies program, specifically professors Zheya Gai and Buba Misawa, who helped prepare them for living and working abroad. Of Misawa and Gai, Sprowls says “they are pioneers of what we can accomplish.”

“I am very excited to be going to Hong Kong,” said Anthony. “It is very surreal, but I look forward to experiencing a new culture.”

Whether they spend a year or two teaching at Lingnan University, both feel the experience will be invaluable regardless of where their career paths take them after Hong Kong.

“I have thought about graduate school, and I want to keep up with my French,” Anthony said. “Perhaps I will look at spending a year in France and teach English there.”

With “the bug” for living abroad, Sprowls will focus on networking while in Hong Kong.

“If we really like teaching, we can keep doing it,” she said. “In a job search, it is not always what you know but where you have been and who you know. This opportunity makes sense. It is right step for us both.”

For more information about W&J’s international studies program, or The Magellan project, visit washjeff.edu. 

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Molly Anthony, left, Savannah Sprowls