Category Archives: Foreign Fulbright

Happy Thanksgiving from the Fulbright Program! Listen to How International Education Has Changed the Lives of These Participants.

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Once we have gathered your content, we will pull it into a Storify like the one we did last year (see below)!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Science Olympiads and Coral Reproduction – Fulbright Community Service in Hawaii

By Robert Mason, 2013-2015, Australia

Robert Mason-1

Conducting counts of coral egg bundles during coral spawning volunteer research at Coconut Island, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (Foreground: Robert Mason, 2013-2015, Australia; mid-ground: Jen Davidson; background: Jolly Ann Cruz)

Imagine sitting in a hall, surrounded by the brightest of your peers in the nation. You’re a senior high school student, and in front of you is a test paper – but it’s no normal test paper. The topic is not something anyone learns at school, nor even in most university courses. In fact, the topic is so specialized that only a small group of experts knows the material well. Fortunately, you work together with a teammate to answer the exam – and you need one, as your next exam is a magnetism problem that would tax a fully trained engineer.

This might sound like an X-men recruitment exam, but it’s the true experience of a small number of students from each American State participating in the National Science Olympiad, an annual competition in which students are tested on 22 different science and technology topics. Only one or a few schools per state qualify to take part in the contest. To help their students prepare, many schools enlist professors, scientists and other experts, who volunteer their time as coaches.

Volunteer One Day, Come Back with a Basket Full of Understanding: A Vietnamese Fulbrighter Learns About Civic Engagement in the United States

By Phuong Nguyen, 2014-2016, Vietnam

Phong Nguyen

Phuong Nguyen, 2014-2016, Vietnam (third from right), with her students in New York City as a One to World Global Guide teaching about sustainability in Vietnam

I am Phuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese Fulbrighter. I have been studying for my MA in Publishing at Rosemont College, a very beautiful school in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Besides studying, I volunteer as a Global Guide Volunteer with One To World, whose mission is to create global citizens and inspire a peaceful world through one-of-a-kind programs in classrooms and communities. I am also an Emerging International Journalist Volunteer with Global Philadelphia Association (GPA), created to assist and encourage greater interaction between the many international organizations and internationally-minded people in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

The volunteering experiences have unexpectedly helped my academic performance. As a Global Guide, I had an opportunity to hone my presentation skills by giving lectures to various audiences, from elementary students, to high school students. To make a lesson on complex issues simple and engaging for my students was difficult, but it helped me to get to know the core issues and prepare for tests, presentations and papers for my college classes.

Cleaning up Trash in the United States – and Learning from It

By Tri Murniati, 2014-2016, Indonesia

Tri Murniati

Tri Murniati, 2014-2016, Indonesia (second from right), having fun drawing with kids at the Fayetteville Public Library for the Macaroni Kid ‘Be the Match’ Bone Marrow Registry Drive

My name is Tri Murniati and I am from Indonesia. Currently, I am studying at the University of Arkansas majoring in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. Community service and volunteering activities have helped me to adjust to my new life in the United States as a Fulbrighter, and feel fortunate to have had these opportunities. They have allowed me to meet new people, make friends and learn many things. Since arriving in the Unites States, I have participated in two large community service events.

The first was the Macaroni Kid ‘Be the Match’ Bone Marrow Registry Drive and the second was the Town Branch Clean-up. My participation in these activities was organized by the University of Arkansas Muslim Student Association (UArk MSA). Ever since I joined UArk MSA, I have had an opportunity get involved in community service activities. The Macaroni Kid ‘Be the Match’ Bone Marrow Registry Drive was held last September at the Fayetteville Public Library in Arkansas. The event was hosted by Team Macaroni Kid Fayetteville, which has partnered with Be the Match to help patients get bone marrow transplants. Team Macaroni Kid invites many committed donors to join the Be the Match Registry, raise funds, and spread the word about this special way of saving lives. The event was also intended to raise awareness about helping other people. As a volunteer, my main task was to assist kids while their parents signed up for the registry, all of which ended up being pretty fun.

Dance to Love

By Minh Tuyet Bui, 2013-2015, Vietnam

Minh Tuyet Bui

Minh Tuyet Bui, 2013-2015, Vietnam (center), performs her dance “Dreamer’s Café” with Heidi Stonier and Bryan Wilson at the Center for Modern Dance Education, New Jersey.

My dance/movement journey started in 2010 when I read the book Dance as a Healing Art by Anna Halprin. To this day, I am grateful for her spirit and wisdom. It empowered me to cross the ocean on a Fulbright grant to become a Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) student in the United States at Sarah Lawrence College.

After 10 years of experience in education, I have observed that the teaching methods currently in use in Vietnam cause students to suffer. Students are rarely encouraged to observe, ask questions or think critically in order to make their own decisions. In an ideal environment, students must learn inner leadership, personal responsibility, and self-discovery. They should add value to the world by playing a part in it. In this respect, traditional education is failing.

By experiencing my own body through movement and applying this experience in teaching, I see how creative movement empowers students to develop personality and strengthen their inner leadership. In one of my classes, “Movement with Nature,” I guided children to make physical contact and engage all the senses with a tree. Students pay attention to feelings, emotions and images stimulated by their contact with the tree, then are asked to dance with the tree and find their relationship to it. The tree is in you and you are in the tree. After that, they draw the tree and write about their experience. Children identify with nature by projecting themselves into the form of a tree through movement. From this process, they can obtain rich insights and meaningful connections to their life needs. One shy girl shared, “My tree is scared to sleep alone.” Another said, “My tree doesn’t like being hit.” Another child saw the trees as endless, a home that offered strength and safety. “I am here if you need help” her tree said.