Category Archives: Foreign Fulbright

From Argentina to Minnesota: My Fulbright Experience

By Laureana Moreno, 2013-2014, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Argentina

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Laureana Moreno, 2013-2014, Fulbright FLTA from Argentina (right), providing information about Argentinian culture to an American student at the University of St. Thomas’ International Fair

When I first learned that I would spend an academic year in St. Paul, Minnesota as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA), I did not know what to expect. The first thing everybody would tell me after I shared that I was going to Minnesota was, ‘It’s going to be so cold!’ and ‘Be ready for a lot of snow.’ I had no idea what the Twin Cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis) had in store for me. I am a Spanish-language Fulbright FLTA, and I assist students in their linguistic and cultural learning process, as well as professors, usually substituting for them or providing sessions on Spanish culture. I have also been engaged with the campus Spanish Club, helped to organize tango lessons and Spanish conversation groups.

My first few days in the ‘Land of the 10,000 Lakes’ were filled with new people and roommates, different cultures, and sunny, warm weather. As time went by, my new group of friends from France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, and the United States grew closer. This unity was enhanced by each of us sharing our unique cultural customs. We organized a dinner and cooked empanadas, a very typical dish in Argentina (whose closest equivalent is an English Cornish pastry or a slightly larger Indian samosa). The filling in the empanadas varied from mince with vegetables to just cheese and sautéed onions. In Argentina, it is customary to make and drink mate while cooking, and that is exactly what we did. Mate is a traditional drink which tastes very similar to tea, but which is drunk in a different manner. Mate is served in a wooden cup which is filled with yerba (similar to black tea typically found in tea bags). Then, hot water (which must not be boiling hot) is poured into the mate so that the yerba gets wet, and through a metal straw, called a bombilla, one drinks the hot water flavored with the yerba.

The Global Scientist: from a Hotel Lobby to the World

By André Filgueiras de Araujo, 2010-2014, Brazil, and Ronan Killian McGovern, 2010-2014, Ireland

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Tamaki Bieri, 2010-2014, International Fulbright Science & Technology grantee from Switzerland, presented how an interdisciplinary approach to coral reef monitoring generates world-class science and art

It had been six years since the launch of the International Fulbright Science & Technology Award and we, as fellows, were sitting in a hotel lobby in Washington, DC. We’d spoken over dinner the previous night of how slick it might be to have a forum where we could write about our science with the freedom to focus only on the big picture. We worked numbers and wrote journal articles by day, but if we could share, with the public, our ideas in a way that changed how they saw the world – that, we thought, would be the ultimate presentation of our research.

We are Ronan and André, S&T Fulbrighters from the 2010 cohort. Ronan comes from Ireland and is doing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at MIT, focusing on desalination. André comes from Brazil and is doing a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford, focusing on computer vision.

The Fulbright experience has led us to many parts of the United States — California, Colorado, Florida, DC, Pennsylvania, Louisiana — exposing us to the spectacular diversity this country is made of. The best part of all is the chance to interact with locals, understanding the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives. We remember vividly the efforts of scientists in New Orleans to avoid future situations like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for example.

Spreading Love on the Green

By Hyacinthe Nare, 2013-2015, Burkina Faso

Hyacinthe Nare, 2013-2015, Burkina Faso

Hyacinthe Nare, 2013-2015, Burkina Faso (left), volunteering with Spread the Love on the New Haven Green

I still happily recall the day I became a Fulbright Foreign Student, an opportunity which has allowed me to share my culture and background while benefiting from exposure to people from different nations. As a grantee from Burkina Faso, I am currently pursuing the environmental management program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. I am majoring in climate change, adaptation, and mitigation, and my interests include climate change and the quest for clean energy, particularly in developing countries.

When I arrived in the United States, I could not wait to become active in the Yale community. The school of forestry and environmental studies offers a unique three-week training module at Yale’s Myers and Great Mountain Forests and in New Haven’s urban areas. For this program, I worked with a group to perform field exercises, took measurements in forests, sampled species in ecosystems, and used orientation tools. I also shared my culture and experience outside classroom activities by working with the breakfast clean-up crews and participating in team sports, while learning from others. For the first time in my life, I played softball and scored a run, but I wish I hadn’t. Not knowing the rules, I only realized my achievement when applause and cheers followed!

What I remember most about the training is the classroom debate and some of the ideas generated by students which revealed how issues can be analyzed from several angles based on different cultural perspectives. As a student in the Master of Environmental Management Program, I actively participate in class projects and witness how students from all corners of the globe work together and roll up their sleeves to address global challenges such as climate change.

Fulbright Program in Motion

Week of 5/26 - 5/30 recap

Here is our first “Fulbright in Motion” weekly recap blog post! To highlight your Fulbright activities in next week’s recap tweet using #Fulbrightinmotion or e-mail Jennifer Connor, Fulbright Social Media Program Officer, at jconnor@iie.org.

Where was Fulbright last week?

San Diego, California:

Representatives of the Fulbright Program, including both the U.S. Student and Scholar Programs, attended the Association of International Educators’ (NAFSA) annual conference in San Diego.

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Check out more photos of Fulbright alumni and international exchange partners who attended #NAFSA14!

Miami, Florida:

Fulbright Program staff member Lee Rivers, along with Fulbrigth Alumni Ambassador Sam Gordon Gilman Alumni Ambassador Silvina Di Pietro, presented on Fulbright and Gilman opportunities to The Posse Foundation scholars and at the University of Miami.

Posse Miami

The Posse Foundation is a non-profit organization that identifies, recruits and trains public high school students with outstanding academic and leadership potential — many of them who have been overlooked in traditional college selection processes — and then arranges for full-tuition scholarships for four years at college. Since 1989, some 5,540 public high school students have been through the Posse program and 90 percent of them graduate from college. In 2010, President Obama named the foundation as one of 10 to receive a portion — $125,000 — of the $1.4 million he won with his Nobel Peace Prize. Many Posse Foundation scholars have gone on to receive Fulbright and Gilman grants and scholarships.

Seattle, Washington:

The U.S. Department of State, through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), welcomed 75 first-year Fulbright foreign students form 42 countries to Seattle for the Lab to Market seminar focused on exploring solutions to challenges facing global energy and the environment. The seminar included discussions with experts, visits to industry-leading companies and research institutions, and interactive workshops.

 

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou.

Dr. Maya Angelou, a beloved American poet, author, actor, and Civil Rights activist, has died at the age of 86. She became a member of our #ExchangeAlumni community following her #Fulbright 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer grant in 1986, during which she lectured in Liberia.

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Dr. Angelou, author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “And Still I Rise”, was a Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. At President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration ceremony, she read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning.” She was the second poet to present at a presidential inauguration; her recording of the poem later won a Grammy in the “Best Spoken Word” category. You can watch a clip of that momentous occasion here: http://goo.gl/Usd6Go

She was awarded the Presidential Medal for the Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008. In 2010, pictured here, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama http://goo.gl/hvt1NS

Through her illustrious career, life, and legacy, she inspires our passion for lifelong education and the arts.

What Is Fulbright? Here’s What It Means to a Few Members of the Fulbright Community.

Attending NAFSA’s 2014 Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego, California this week? Be sure to stop by the Fulbright booth #1136 to learn more about program opportunities.