Category Archives: Foreign Fulbright

Passport to the World

By Christelle Mputu, 2014-2016, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Christelle Mputu

Christelle Mputu, 2014-2016, Democratic Republic of the Congo (second from left), presenting with some fellow volunteers at St. Cloud State University’s “Passport to the World” event

I am Christelle Mputu, a Fulbright Student from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I am currently pursuing a Master of Science program in Applied Economics from August 2014 to May 2016 at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

St. Cloud State University has many international students from a very broad number of countries, ranging from Latin America to Africa, Asia and Europe. Each year, it organizes a great event called “Passport to the World.” This event is free and open to the public, and showcases up to 28 cultures through performances and hands-on activities. Displays of cultural artifacts and song and dance performances from all over the world are showcased.

“Passport to the World” allows people from the city of Saint Cloud, especially youth from different schools, to have a better understanding of different countries and cultures: figuring out which continent is such or such country in, what makes a country different from another, what is its culture, which languages are spoken, their indigenous fauna and flora, etc. My observation from this event was that people tended to learn more by seeing and “experiencing” a country – even if that country is in fact presented only in a booth!

Volunteering for the Food Fighters: A Weekend at D.C. Central Kitchen

By Sundas Liaqat, 2014-2016, Pakistan

Sundas Liquat-1

Sundas Liaqat, 2014-2016, Pakistan, poses at the entrance of the D.C. Central Kitchen, an organization that prepares 5,000 meals daily for smaller homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and NGOs in the DC area

My name is Sundas and I am from Pakistan, a poverty-stricken and underdeveloped country. I am passionate about poverty alleviation, particularly through women’s empowerment and children’s education. To help enact my goals, I am currently a Fulbright Student enrolled in the graduate Social Enterprise Program at American University in Washington, DC. My academic focus is specifically international development.

Because of my goal of becoming a social change agent, and my desire to honor the ideals of what it means to be a Fulbrighter, I volunteered to help prepare meals for the homeless at the D.C. Central Kitchen in December 2014.

Faces of Southern Tech Women

Fulbright-MTP Participant from Cambodia, Pichleap Sok, profiles Southern American Tech Women

Fulbright-MTP Participant from Cambodia, Pichleap Sok (left), interviews Sia Karamalegos, an instructor at Tech Talent South in New Orleans.

Fulbright-MTP Participant from Cambodia, Pichleap Sok (left), interviews Sia Karamalegos, an instructor at Tech Talent South in New Orleans.

“It’s been a great ride so far, but rest assured, the best is yet to come,” said Patrick Dowd, founder and CEO of the Millennial Train Project (MTP). I couldn’t agree more. Even though the train journey came to an end, our individual journey had just begun.

It feels so good to be home again. It feels so good to take a long shower in a non-moving bathroom. It feels so good to be back in my own bed. But, why do I feel so nostalgic for strangers I spent just 10 days with, places I spent less than 24 hours in — and the uncomfortable top bunk, where I continuously hit my head on the ceiling?

It all began with an email offering me a spot on the Fulbright-Millennial Trains Project 2015 journey. One of my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions happened to be traveling to at least 10 cities across America, but being so busy with school barely afforded the time for it. Knowing that I got to travel to six cities across the United States on a train made me jump for joy.

From a Fall to a Fulbright: Navigating Academia with Disability

By Ailsa Lipscombe, 2015-2020, New Zealand

Ailsa Lipscombe

Ailsa Lipscombe, 2015-2020, New Zealand, receiving her Fulbright certificate with U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Mark Gilbert, and New Zealand’s Attorney-General, the Hon. Chris Finlayson

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, today’s post spotlights the story of current Fulbright Foreign Student from New Zealand, Ailsa Lipscombe, who shares how she has come to re-define her disability and pursue a Fulbright grant in the United States.

Changing attitudes towards disability both here in New Zealand and abroad have been invaluable in me gaining the confidence to continue my studies overseas as a young adult living with chronic pain and vision loss. After falling over at high school and developing a rare nerve disorder – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – that, among other things, causes constant pain throughout the body, I never dreamed that ten years later I would be preparing to move to the United States of America as part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program; yet in September, I will move to Chicago where I will be studying towards my Ph.D. in Music at the University of Chicago.

Having completed my Master of Music at the New Zealand School of Music, I am excited to study in a new environment and alongside a new cohort of students, who I know will inspire and challenge me every day. My key research interests are in the way popular music intersects with narrativity and narratology, and in the multiplicity of ways listeners approach, interpret, understand, and share musical experiences. My work here in New Zealand has begun to explore these questions and I am ever grateful to the Fulbright Foreign Student Program for giving me the opportunity to unpack this research in a new academic and cultural context. As a musician and music scholar, I am thrilled to have the chance to study at an institution that values performance and/as research and I can’t wait to immerse myself in Chicago’s dynamic music scene both from inside and outside the classroom.

Are You a Non-U.S. Student Looking for More Information on How to Apply for a Fulbright Grant? Start Here.

How It Works: Fulbright from Fulbright Program on Vimeo.

Interested in applying for a Fulbright Student grant to the United States and don’t know where to start? Here are some useful tips:

  • Non-U.S. Citizens who hold at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent can apply to the Fulbright Foreign Student Program or to the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (FLTA).
  • The Fulbright Foreign Student Program offers opportunities for foreign graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study, conduct research, and/or teach their native language in the United States.
  • Students in all fields of study are welcome to apply.
  • As a Non-U.S. Citizen, you will need to apply through the country in which you hold citizenship; either through a Fulbright Commission, or, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in your country.
  • To find out if your home country has a Fulbright Commission or if the Fulbright Program is administered through a U.S. Embassy, please visit: http://eca.state.gov/fulbright/fulbright-programs/program-details-country.
  • Once you’ve determined how the Fulbright Program is administered in your home country, please contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S Embassy to find out what the eligibility requirements are, what programs are offered, and when the application deadlines fall.

Still have questions? Feel free to send your questions to fulbright@state.gov. Good luck!