Category Archives: Foreign Fulbright
By Brendan Cleary, 2013-2014, Ireland
I commenced my doctoral research in October 2011 focusing on the economics of wind power and large scale energy storage at Dublin Energy Lab, Dublin Institute of Technology, in Ireland. In July 2013, following a rigorous application and interview process, I was thrilled to be awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Student Award. The award allows me to spend six months in New York (aka, the Big Apple) collaborating with the Center for Life Cycle Analysis (CLCA) at Columbia University. Initially, I formed a relationship with the CLCA back in February 2013. My Fulbright grant allows me to strengthen this relationship and to refine my research methodology with influential experts in energy related fields.
Tam Nguyen, 2013-2015, Vietnam
Over the past six months of my Fulbright journey, I have had wonderful opportunities to become a part of the Penn State Harrisburg (PSH) community and participate in Central Pennsylvania’s LGBT networks.
As a gay man born in Vietnam, educated in Singapore, with experience working for Eastern and Western organizations, I came to the United States with a multifaceted cultural heritage and identity. Initially, I worried if my complex identity would make it difficult for me to be a cultural ambassador. But PSH and my department, Community Psychology and Social Change, have welcomed me and appreciated every facet of my social character and skills, and have helped me to feel at home within a short period of time. Classroom conversations so far have been very engaging and a great opportunity for me to learn about American social issues while sharing my international perspectives. I have really enjoyed the diversity of backgrounds, and experiences that I have encountered, and the intellectually intriguing questions raised by my fellow students and professors. I have already grown tremendously from such exchanges.
Through PSH and my program, which is home to many passionate social change activists, I have connected with various networks such as the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania, and Penn State’s Diversity committee. Through these networks, I have been able to exchange ideas with like-minded people and also pursue possibilities to make PSH a better place for anyone who is LGBT.
By Suchi Gaur, 2012-2013, Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellow from India
There are many aspects of what it means to be a Fulbrighter. For instance, it changes not only how people identify you, but how you see yourself and the world. The amount of exposure to different cultures and experience that Fulbright provides is immense. The feeling of being a 2012-2013 Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellow from India started sinking in the day I attended the pre-departure orientation. Being chosen as a representative of my country was huge. I knew that what I that my experience researching community radio and participatory communication in the United States would be different from my previous experiences in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, and I was very much looking forward to it.
When I attended the Gateway Orientation at Virginia Commonwealth University, the feeling of ‘going global’ overcame me, and I realized just how huge a responsibility being a Fulbrighter is. During the orientation, I learned much about the American Civil War and also from my fellow Fulbrighters from all over the world.
When I arrived at New York University’s (NYU’s) Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, I knew that as a Development Communication and Extension Specialist from India, NYU was going to be a great place to analyze global development, not just by studying what is happening within the field in the United States, but also by meeting with representatives from different countries. My Fulbright research focuses on community radio stations as models of participatory communication, and I intend to use my findings on American community radio stations’ financial and volunteer management when I return to India. Understanding the similarities and differences between Indian and American models will be particularly helpful in developing an in-depth analysis of global community radio stations’ best practices.
By Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan, 2012-2014, India
I came to the United States from India over a year ago on a Fulbright Foreign Student Program grant to pursue a master’s in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), the country’s oldest public university. I was given this unique opportunity not just to study public health, but to also experience all the diversity American culture and its people have to offer.
So far, my academic experience at UNC has opened my eyes to limitless possibilities. From classroom discussions, seminars, and volunteer work, to my summer practicum at IntraHealth International, each experience has further solidified my understanding and commitment to public health. Within the field, I am specializing in maternal and child health. My research interests are in program monitoring and evaluation, strengthening existing health systems, improving water quality and sanitation, and health programs for adolescent girls. Upon my return home, I plan to work for a non-governmental organization where I can design and implement programs while enhancing government health systems.
Aside from my studies, I have participated in many multicultural potlucks with other students, celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving with American and international friends, and engaged in community health issues through a local health clinic. I feel blessed to have experienced a slice of Southern hospitality in North Carolina. My Fulbright grant has also allowed me to dispel myths surrounding Indian-Americans and South Asian immigrants in the United States.
By Anastasiia Iefanova, 2011-2013, Ukraine
My Fulbright experience started with a Pre-academic Language Program at the University of Arkansas. There, I had an unforgettable experience interacting with students from different countries who became my friends while studying English with me. Meeting people from different parts of the world was one of the highlights of my Fulbright experience as it broadened my world view and helped me to better understand people from different cultural backgrounds. Living with a host family also improved my understanding of American culture as well as my English skills. My host family was very kind and helped me with everything. At the end of my Pre-academic Language Program, my English skills had improved exponentially. These experiences helped me to successfully begin my academic program at South Dakota State University and become more independent while living in the United States.
My master’s program in electrical engineering at South Dakota State University was initially very challenging. Everything was different from my previous school: the academics, how things were organized, and the teaching style. After a couple of months, things became more familiar, and I started to focus more on my research by working with Dr. Mahdi Farrokh Baroughi and his group.