Category Archives: Foreign Fulbright

Towards a Hopeful Future

By Nangyalai Attal, 2013-2015, Afghanistan

Nangyalai Attal - 1

Nangyalai Attal, 2013-2015, Afghanistan, visiting the Grand Canyon (photo courtesy of Jonathan Foster)

As a Fulbright Student from Afghanistan, I have been pursuing a Master’s of Science in Human Resources Management at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California. While working for the United Nations in Kabul, I realized that a lack of technical human resources was – and is – one of the most pressing challenges facing the Afghan government and its private sector. Every year, millions of dollars from donors go unspent because Afghan institutions lack competent individuals to put development programs into practice. Additionally, the Afghan private sector continues to struggle in attracting human capital that would increase the number of domestic businesses. I decided that I wanted to be part of the solution to these problems and the Fulbright Program has provided me with an avenue to pursue this ambition.

Supporting Yemen’s Marginalized Populations

By Ammar Mohammed, 2013-2015, Yemen

Ammar Mohammed is a current Fulbright Foreign Student from Yemen.

Ammar Mohammed is a current Fulbright Foreign Student from Yemen

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we are re-posting an article from Fulbright Foreign Student and 2014 Fulbright-Millennial Trains participant from Yemen Ammar Mohammed, whose research in sustainable development focuses on promoting the leadership and entrepreneurship of African-Yemenis – a marginalized population in Yemen. We hope the Fulbright community is inspired by Ammar Mohammed’s  – and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  – work in promoting positive change within their communities.

We are living the most technologically advanced generation of all times – yet have some of the most pressing challenges in the history of humanity – be it economic, environmental, social, or political. As a Fulbright Student in sustainable development, I always contemplate the solutions for those challenges. I believe that a sustainable solution is a combination of addressing the above challenges. I see social entrepreneurship as the key to solving economic and social challenges—putting into account preserving the environment—that creates new markets and promotes social integration and participation. Entrepreneurs are leaders who transform communities. Entrepreneurs can also multiply their impact by lobbying the government for more support for young people and legislation that encourages entrepreneurial ideas. I believe that this hybrid model of social entrepreneurship and policy advocacy will be my first priority to tackling present challenges.

During the past year, I’ve come to see how this generation has diversified mindsets. There is a tendency to change the status quo through various means available exclusively to the Millennial generation. There are numerous campaign initiatives to improve the life of the less fortunate and for social justice around the world. The most striking aspect, however, is that this generation tends to shift entrepreneurship to be more socially oriented, using technology to that end. Social entrepreneurship, crowd-funding and impact investing show how a business can solve a social challenge and at the same time be profitable. In fact, this is one aspect I will definitely take back with me to Yemen and work to promote it.

Fulbright Holiday Celebrations Around the World

The Fulbright community shares moments from their celebrations

Fun with Microscopic Living Creatures on Fulbright

By Seanghuoy Ho, 2012-2014, Cambodia

Seanghuoy Ho

Seanghuoy Ho, 2012-2014, Cambodia examining antibacterial compounds’ efficacy against the bacterial community known as “biofilm” in the laboratory at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

When I was a little girl, I once watched a science program on TV in which I saw people wearing long white coats and goggles, holding long, round tubes. The tubes contained cloudy solutions and the people were viewing these solutions under machines called microscopes. I learned from that TV show that those solutions contained bacteria and that they were living creatures. Bacteria come in different shapes and colors, and need food, oxygen and specific temperatures in order to survive. As a kid, I was excited to learn more about these tiny creatures, even though at that time, I had no clue as to why people would want to study them. I dreamed about becoming a scientist one day and conducting research on these wonderful, tiny living things.

Now, thanks to a Fulbright Foreign Student grant, I am a master’s degree student in microbiology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Since my childhood, I’ve learned a great deal about microbes, specifically bacteria. I realize that I mostly saw bacteria on TV when they caused an outbreak. The majority of bacteria, however, are harmless and even beneficial to human beings. Antibiotics, chemical compounds produced by particular bacteria and used to treat many diseases, are one typical example of their benefits.

My First Hackathon: Gaining Knowledge and Connections While Having Fun

By Susana Lau, 2013-2015, Panama

Susana - 1

Susana Lau, 2013-2015, Panama, at Carnegie Mellon University’s Silicon Valley Campus

In honor of International Education Week, today’s post illustrates Thursday’s theme of Entrepreneurship, and how international education prepares students for a strong, globalized 21st century workforce.

Read how Panamanian Fulbrighter and information technology student Susana Lau participated in her first hackathon this past October – a unique opportunity that enhanced her skills and widened her professional network.

From the moment I arrived in the United States from Panama to begin my graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), I knew my life would change. Being exposed to the professional, technological, and educational environment at CMU, as well as all of the opportunities available to help me pursue my goals, have transformed how I perceive my personal and professional growth.

I feel so fortunate to be a Fulbright Foreign Student pursuing CMU’s bi-coastal Master’s in Information Technology, where I spent my first year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This year, my second year, has been spent in Silicon Valley, where I’ve been exposed to the area’s characteristic spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology. The extracurricular activities offered here are incredible: networking, technical conferences, and hackathons. I encourage other students to take advantage of these types opportunities.