Marley Duerst

Marley Duerst graduated from the University of Michigan in 2020 with majors in Spanish and International Studies, and a minor in Education for Empowerment.

Marley's favorite memory from the Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) program was studying abroad in Costa Rica during the spring of her freshman year, just as she began studying Spanish. This transformative experience solidified her decision to pursue the RLL major. Among her favorite courses was the Spanish Language Internship Program (SLIP), which provided her with practical applications and immersive experiences that were invaluable to her education.

In 2020, Marley further enriched her academic journey by studying abroad in Granada, Spain. This experience deepened her passion for the Spanish language and culture.

After graduation, Marley joined the NALCAP program in Madrid, Spain, as an assistant English teacher. She then continued her teaching journey with Fulbright - COMEXUS in Tlaxcala, Mexico, working as an assistant teacher at a teacher training college. Currently, she is working at Fulbright - COMEXUS (Mexico) as an English Teaching Assistant and Mentor with The Fulbright Program. "As an English Teaching Assistant, I work in a university helping with the advancement of English language by leading conversation clubs, working at my school’s Writing Center, giving writing and language workshops, and supporting English in classrooms. As a mentor in the program, I give advice and support to other members of the cohort who are in their first year of the program."

Looking ahead, Marley aims to expand opportunities for youth to access sports, particularly focusing on populations facing barriers to accessing sports. She is especially passionate about promoting women’s soccer on a global level.

Marley recommends undergraduates make the most of all the resources available at U-M—professors, the Opportunity Hub, conversation clubs, events, and the Language Resource Center. "Don't get overwhelmed by feeling like you need to have all your future planned out or rush into a job or grad school. Everything makes a lot more sense looking back than looking forward."

Reflecting on her time at U-M, Marley emphasizes how studying the Spanish language and culture from Spanish-speaking countries provided her with the context and knowledge to thrive in her current role. "Additionally, having the opportunity to study abroad gave me tools that have helped me successfully live and work in Mexico and Spain for the past three years."