Category Archives: U.S. Fulbright

Home Sweet Home

By Mikayla Posey, 2015-2016, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Germany

Mikayla Posey

Mikayla Posey, 2015-2016, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Germany and Reach the World Traveler (left), with a friend

In partnership with Reach the World (RTW), the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is publishing a series of articles written by Fulbright English Teaching Assistants participating in Reach the World’s Traveler correspondents program, which through its interactive website, enriches the curriculum of elementary and secondary classrooms (primarily located in New York City but also nationwide) by connecting them to the experiences of volunteer Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and other world travelers who are currently studying and living abroad. 

Where do you consider your home? What are important parts of your home? Can your home change? When I was a kid, I had very clear answers to these questions. My home was 760 Crestwood. It was the brick house with a pine tree out front, my room inside with my stuffed animals and the people who lived there—my family! However, over time my understanding of my “home” changed. First, it changed when my parents divorced and then I had two homes and eventually two great families. It also changed when I decided to go to university over 1,000 miles away from Arizona. But even when my address changed and new people surrounded me, I always felt at home because I always had a community. What is a community? It can mean lots of things, but for me it means being surrounded by people who truly care about you, whether family, friends, teachers, coworkers or roommates.

Until I moved to Germany on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, my community always sprung from either my family or my school.  However, when I arrived in Germany, I felt for the first time that I was very alone. I did not know anyone my city, all my coworkers seemed to already have their own friends and, on top of that, I was having a hard time speaking German. It’s much harder to make friends when you are not comfortable speaking their language!

Building a Fulbright Partnership: Promoting Diversity in STEM Fields

By Schuyler Allen, Senior Program Officer, Fulbright Student Program Outreach and Dr. Luz Claudio, Chief of the Division of International Health, Department of Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Mt. Sinai Group - 2016

The 2016 cohort of Mount Sinai’s International Exchange Program for Minority Students visiting the Institute of International Education (from left to right, back row): Grant Quiller, Andrew Fisher, Hanna Amanuel, Lanaiar Lett, Waru Gichane, Liz Alvarez, Rayven Plaza, Taylor Jamerson, Mayra Orozco-Llamas; (front row, left to right): Ala Mansour and Natalie Fernandez.

Ten years ago, Athena Fulay, Senior Manager for Institutional Engagement at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and my longtime outreach colleague from the Fulbright Scholar Program, forwarded a request she’d received to host a pre-departure orientation focusing on Fulbright opportunities for a group minority graduate students pursuing degrees in the health sciences. Since none of the students held PhDs, and therefore wouldn’t be eligible for Fulbright Scholar opportunities, Athena felt it made more sense for me to handle the request and investigate further. I proceeded to respond to the request and asked the Mount Sinai contact about the composition of the group, the program they represented, and how we could best provide whatever information they needed.

In my subsequent email exchanges, I learned quite a bit: Founded in 2005 by Dr. Luz Claudio, Chief of the Division of International Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the group was called the International Exchange Program for Minority Students. Since its inception, the International Exchange Program for Minority Students has been receiving funding from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in 2010 and in 2015, it was re-evaluated and deemed to be an “outstanding” program at the highest NIH score level.

High Risk, High Reward: Focusing Prevention on the Most Vulnerable Populations from Bogotá to Boston

By Giffin Daughtridge, 2011-2012, Colombia

Giffin Daughtridge-1

Giffin Daughtridge, 2011-2012, Colombia, and fellow 2011 Fulbright U.S. Student to Colombia Emma Din at Monserrate, a chapel overlooking all of Bogotá, during their orientation week.

Francesca and I were both 22 when we first met in 2011. She was a transsexual sex worker, and I was doing street outreach with the Fundación Fénix as part of my Fulbright U.S. Student grant to Bogotá, Colombia. Through our conversation, I learned she had undergone multiple surgeries from unlicensed street side providers to augment various parts of her body, consistently used a range of drugs, and engaged in sex work with up to 12 clients per day.

I enjoyed our conversation, but it also left me frustrated. Francesca was at extremely high risk of contracting an infectious disease like Hepatitis B (HBV), but she was also at extremely low likelihood of having access to the HBV vaccine. She was deeply distrustful of the public system stemming from years of abuse from police and stigma from healthcare providers, and she refused to go to any clinic or hospital to get the vaccine.

As a result, I dedicated my year to delivering Hepatitis B vaccines to the populations at highest risk of contracting the disease. In Bogotá, this was the female and transsexual sex worker population. By leveraging the healthcare resources of the Bogotá Secretary of Health and the community network with the sex worker population of the Fundación Fénix, we administered HBV vaccines to almost 200 high-risk individuals in their work places.

World Oceans Day 2016: Revisiting Marvin Alfaro’s Story and Research

Fulbright on Ice: From the U.S. to the Outback to Antarctica, By Marvin Alfaro, 2011-2012, Australia

Marvin Alfaro

Marvin Alfaro, 2011-2012, Australia, operates a conductivity, temperature and depth measuring instrument on board the Aurora Australis in the Southern Ocean

In honor of World Oceans Day, we are re-posting Fulbright Alumni Ambassador and alumnus Marvin Alfaro’s article describing his Fulbright research studying the Antarctic Polar Front and Global Climate Change: Impacts and Implications.  Are you a current Fulbrighter studying oceanography and/or related fields and want to share your story? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us here.

Australia is perfectly situated on the planet for me to pursue my atmosphere-ocean interaction studies. As an undergraduate meteorology major with a special interest in the Southern Ocean, I worked with oceanographers on projects analyzing the strength and location of ocean currents using remote sensing capabilities from satellites. After graduating, I became interested in combining the remote sensing data from satellites with high-resolution data retrieved on board a nautical research trip into the Southern Ocean. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provided just the type of opportunity I needed to pursue this unique cultural and research experience.

Initially, I expected life in Australia to be very similar to the culture and lifestyle I knew in the United States. But as a Latino and native New Yorker, I was in for a big surprise.

As a Fulbright Student, I lived with and learned from locals, allowing me to see the world through an Australian’s southern-Pacific lens. My Fulbright lasted a year, but the learning will last forever. In Australia, I realized how important Latin American cultures and cuisine are in my everyday life in the United States. Sydney is largely influenced by Asian cultures—Latin American influence is minimal. Before I arrived, I thought of surfers, beautiful beaches, and Sydney’s famous Harbor Bridge and Opera House. They were wonderful parts of my experience, but the Fulbright Program allowed me to experience everyday Australian life, not just see Australian landmarks.

To Taiwan and Beyond!

By Lucille Boco, 2015-2016, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Taiwan

Lucille Boco

Lucille Boco, 2015-2016, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Taiwan

In partnership with Reach the World (RTW), the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is publishing a series of articles written by Fulbright English Teaching Assistants participating in Reach the World’s Traveler correspondents program, which through its interactive website, enriches the curriculum of elementary and secondary classrooms (primarily located in New York City but also nationwide) by connecting them to the experiences of volunteer Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and other world travelers who are currently studying and living abroad. 

 大 家好! (大-Dà,家-jiā,好-hǎo- Hello everyone!) My name is Boco and I’m currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Taidong City, in Taiwan. Taiwan is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, north of the Philippines, and south of Japan. The temperature in Taiwan is very hot, so it takes a while to get used to. Especially if, like me, you are used to the cold temperatures of New England.