Category Archives: U.S. Fulbright
By Hanna Miller, 2013-2014, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Russia
Mississippi Heard began in Russia. On a month-long train ride across Russia during my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), I gathered video and audio recordings while fellow Fulbrighter Stephen Barton photographed the people and places we came across and met. We asked Russians about their perceptions of America and how they defined themselves within their own pre-existing stereotypes.
But, the train ride was just one side of the story. After hearing how Russians felt about my homeland, international (mis)perceptions, and their “true” identity, I was left wondering – what do people from my home think about this country I’ve lived in for the past 10 months?
Born and raised in the South, I grew up in a town of 2,000. When I lived in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan, Russia with a Fulbright ETA, my students often asked me what life was like in America. They had ideas I came from a land of wealth, privilege, and luxury. While I can’t deny the United States is toppling over with too much, it is fact I grew up in the poorest, fattest, least educated state: Mississippi.
By Ty Van Herweg, 2015-2016, Uganda
It all started when I was sitting with my mentor, Dr. Thane Kreiner, at Santa Clara University. I was deconstructing my Global Social Benefit Fellowship experience and explaining all of these epiphanies I had about the interconnectedness of last mile distribution in Uganda. Suddenly he remarked, “You are trying to start an Uber for rural Africa.” That’s when everything changed. That’s when my purpose was carved into stone.
I immediately scrounged for all the various opportunities like a mad man. Fulbright became the best option. Sure, it was prestigious and extremely competitive, but it was my only reasonable option to test the business model I had dreamed up. I submitted my application after much rigor and editing, and prayed for the best. I started collaborating with two engineers at Santa Clara University as the waiting game commenced. I was the igniter of a crazy idea, and the energy that came with it was beyond anything I had ever felt before.
In April I received good news; Fulbright gave me a shot and offered me a grant, and I was ready to do just about anything and everything to make Wakabi a reality. I was given the gift of a low-risk, nine-month pilot. There is no better opportunity for a young and broke social entrepreneur.
Are you a Fulbright U.S. Student Program alum and want to share how your Fulbright grant was a life-changing experience and why others should pursue international exchanges or study abroad? Participate in the 2016 U.S. Alumni Citizen Diplomacy Challenge!
This year, there are three ways to participate. You can choose your favorite or participate in all three for a chance to win a professional development trip to Washington D.C. and other exclusive prizes!
- Instagram Photo and Caption Challenge: Upload your most inspirational original study abroad photo that showcases the value of international exchange to Instagram. The photo caption should finish this sentence: ‘#StudyAbroadBecause ______.’
- Share your Story Challenge: Write your study abroad story! Share a brief, compelling personal narrative that demonstrates the benefits of international exchange and would inspire more people to go abroad.
- Back to School Challenge: Go “back to school” in order to give presentations to students on what participating in an exchange program meant to you and share information about relevant U.S. government-sponsored exchange opportunities.
To learn more, visit: https://alumni.state.gov/cdc-2016
All three challenges open on September 27, 2016 EDT and close at noon EDT on November 18, 2016. Good luck!
By Jilisa Milton, 2014-2015, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Indonesia
When I found out that I was accepted to become a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Indonesia, I did not know what to expect. I was excited and nervous, as I had never lived or studied abroad. I had some teaching experience in a small ESOL program in Florida, but had no impressive foreign language experience. Many things also went through my mind about traveling as an African-American woman because I had heard of many experiences from other people of color about having to process unique challenges as a result of traveling overseas.
When I arrived in Indonesia, I felt immediately overwhelmed. Firstly, I was welcomed in Bandung (city in central Java) by a two-week intensive cultural competency and language training. In spite of the challenges I faced during those weeks, I was met with the extreme hospitality and kindness that Indonesian people are known for. Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesia’s national language, was very difficult to grasp at first, but I began to realize how easy it was to pick up in practice.
Submitting a Fulbright U.S. Student Program application today by 5:00 p.m. EDT and want to know what happens next? Check out our interactive application timeline that shows you what happens month-to-month, before, during – and after – you’ve submitted your online application. Still have questions? Contact us.