Category Archives: Foreign Fulbright

Highlights from the 2016 Philadelphia Fulbright Enrichment Seminar

 

In the city of brotherly love, 125 Fulbright Foreign Students from over 60 countries gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May 5 – 8, 2016 to explore U.S. political values and traditions, the electoral process, and the current presidential campaign.

Tom Healy, a member on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, provided inspirational remarks at the opening dinner held at the Independence Visitor’s Center. Mr. Healy was appointed by President Barack Obama in July 2011 to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which oversees the worldwide Fulbright Program.

Conveying the Voice of a Generation: A Tunisian Fulbright FLTA’s Reflections on Attending the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

By Aya Chebbi, 2012-2013, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) from Tunisia

aya chebbi

Aya Chebbi, 2012-2013, Fulbright FLTA from Tunisia, speaking at The United Nations 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City, April 2015

Aya Chebbi, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant alumna from Tunisia (2012-2013) and award-winning pan-African blogger and activist, was invited to speak at the 2015 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Here, she reflects on her experience being invited to and attending the event.

When I first received the invitation from UN Women to speak at the 20th anniversary event commemorating the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, I was a bit surprised.

Surprised, not only because I was identified from a pool of millions of young voices around the world, but also because UN Women had finally taken a big step in providing a crucial space for a young voice such as mine to speak at a high level public event.

Highlights from the 2016 Washington, DC Fulbright Enrichment Seminar

DC Seminar 2016

A panoramic view of the World War II Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, DC taken during the seminar bus tour

For nearly 30 years as a U.S. Senator representing Arkansas, J. William Fulbright called Washington, DC his home.

A city of tremendous power, wealth, and intelligence also grappling with trials of corruption, inefficiency, and a tumultuous political and media landscape, within the heart of the nation’s capital the senator worked tirelessly to establish an international exchange program which would eventually bear his name: The Fulbright Program.

From April 13 – 17, 2016, over 130 foreign Fulbrighters hailing from nearly 65 countries continued this legacy imparted by the late Senator and immersed themselves in the allure and charm of Washington, DC. In discussion they challenged each other’s thoughts around the topic of “U.S. Elections and Media” and “Polarization and U.S. Politics.” In service they took to the streets and streams of the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) zones to participate in the Annual Potomac Watershed Clean Up in partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation. And in community they came together in a memorable U.S. Election Simulation Workshop to demonstrate vast political knowledge and prowess under real pressure.

Hills, Coal and Storytelling: Appalachian Culture in a Changing World

By Raffaella Taylor-Seymour, 2015-2019, United Kingdom

Raffaella

Raffaella Taylor-Seymour, 2015-2019, United Kingdom

A few days before I traveled to Williamson, West Virginia, I was speaking to a university friend from Chicago about visiting the Appalachian region. He told me that his uncle passed through eastern Kentucky, just across the Tug River from Williamson, in the early seventies. When he stopped to ask which was the best route back to Chicago, an old man by the side of the road paused and said, ‘oh, I don’t think you can get to there from here.’ This story somehow captures the sense of far away, and of inwardness, that reverberates through the American imaginary of rural Appalachia. It’s a region that has a mythical quality to outsiders, a place of coal, “hillbillies,” and bluegrass.

Appalachia keeps you grounded, close to the land and close to the people. Sustainable Williamson, the collective that hosted our congregation of Fulbright Amizade Students and alumni, is trying to reinvent centuries-old connections to the land. With the discovery of coal in the 1880s, Appalachia’s rolling hills became known as much for the riches they contained as for their quiet beauty. The earth here is quite literally coal-soaked; since the turn of the last century, billions of dollars worth of coal has been extracted and the commodity has become the mainstay of the local economy. Sustainable Williamson’s espousal of agriculture is an attempt to shift the region’s soul to the land’s surface, an echo of the hills’ nineteenth century agrarian existence before the discovery of black gold.

Highlights from the 2016 Atlanta Fulbright Enrichment Seminar

2016 Atlanta Seminar Photo

Fulbrighters planting trees at the Wylde Center in Atlanta, Georgia as part of their Fulbright Enrichment Seminar community service activities

The 2016 Atlanta Fulbright Enrichment Seminar, held in Atlanta, Georgia from March 31 – April 3, 2016, brought together another stellar cohort of international students to engage with their peers across political, civic, and cultural-oriented discourses and activities. Over four engaging days, the 131 foreign Fulbrighters convened to explore U.S. political values in the “Democracy in Action” workshop series, participated in a host of volunteer activities throughout the city, and toured captivating historical sites.

The Fulbright Program drew on the wisdom of Kerwin Swint, PhD, Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at Kennesaw State University, to guide and inform student discussions. A reputable writer and author, Swint’s work on electoral politics, media studies, and political history has been published on the BBCSlate, and The Wall Street Journal.

During the keynote address, held at The Jimmy Carter Center, Fulbrighters enjoyed remarks by Joseph Falk, who is a J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board appointee, and policy consultant with the law firm of Akerman LLP.