First Day of School for Our American ETAs

Molly O'KeefeMolly O’Keefe has a big smile and a sparkle in her eyes. She is an American, who is ready to spend her second year living and working in Stara Zagora. She is one of 30 English Teaching Assistants who come to Bulgaria thanks to a Bulgarian Fulbright Commission – America for Bulgaria collaboration. These 30 young Americans will go to different Bulgarian cities to teach high school students English language and American traditions.

The ETAs reach nearly 7,000 Bulgarian students and share with them knowledge and perspectives. Molly teaches 8th through 12th graders at the Romain Rolland Foreign Language School in Stara Zagora. Outside the classroom she volunteers at an orphanage and plays soccer for the city’s women’s soccer team. She also takes boxing and singing lessons.

Molly’s first visit to Bulgaria was for a summer folk music exchange program when she was 17. She says she fell in love with Bulgaria and looked for ways to come back. Now at the age of 26 she gets to spend another year in Stara Zagora. “I had very high expectations about Bulgaria because I was here before,” Molly says, “and every expectation was exceeded.”