Category Archives: U.S. Fulbright

Made in Oman: Epic Travels and Stories

By Claire Manneh, 2012-2013, Oman

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Claire Manneh, 2012-2013, Oman (in green) interviewing clinicians at Royal Hospital in Muscat on their experiences using the electronic medical record system

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Although I haven’t extensively trekked the globe like Ibn Battuta, the Medieval Berber traveler and scholar, nor can I retell stories like he did, I was indeed left speechless during my
Fulbright U.S. Student grant to the Sultanate of Oman. I hadn’t come to realize how Fulbright was going to change my life until I was sitting on a one-way flight from San Francisco to Muscat.

Before that plane ride to Muscat, I was consulting with a team to transform a national healthcare system’s electronic health record (EHR) from a legacy to an updated system. The process was painful and lengthy, but the system’s executives were committed to transforming their practice. No different than the United States, Oman’s road to transforming health care delivery is happening at a rapid speed and I planned my Fulbright research to study their EHRs. After surveying and observing over 300 clinicians and patients in Oman, I found that their processes were not unfamiliar. Interoperability does not discriminate – Oman suffers from the same challenges we experience here in the United States. It was common for my study participants who had not visited the U.S. to think that Americans had easy access to health care, which patient records were transferable, and that clinicians can do sophisticated searches on a specific population within a database. The participants took comfort in knowing that a country they look up to in many ways, the U.S., was in the same boat.

Out of the Box: Learning from a New Perspective

By Schuyler Cowan, 2015-2016, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Germany

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Schuyler Cowan, 2015-2016, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Germany and Reach the World Traveler

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.

It is important to be able to view a situation or problem from more than one perspective. If you can think about how someone else might resolve a problem, then you may have an easier time solving it. This is why traveling and living abroad are such important experiences. Living in Germany has not only opened my eyes up to new perspectives, but it has also helped me form my own. This is especially true for my work as a language assistant in a German school.

When I first arrived at my school in Germany, I had an idea of what my experience would be like based on books I had read and movies I had seen. Some of these ideas reflected stereotypes about Germany. Stereotypes are popular ideas about places or people that are often exaggerated or wrong. Do you know what any of those stereotypes might have been? Think back to the interview I did with my colleagues, Klaudia and Jana. What did they say about Germans? One of these ideas was that all Germans are punctual. This means that they are always on time and they like discipline. I thought that the classroom environment would be very quiet and strict. I was in for a big surprise!

Missed Yesterday’s Last Minute Questions Webinar? Check Out Our Recorded Webinars.

2017-2018 FUSP National Deadline Reminder Card

Are you putting the finishing touches on your Fulbright U.S. Student application and missed yesterday’s last minute questions webinar? Fear not! You can find all of our recorded webinars right here on our website. Have specific questions that need answering? Contact the appropriate Fulbright staff here. Good luck!

2017-2018 FUSP National Deadline Reminder Card

Ramen Noodles, Yak Butter Tea and the Swapping of Nutrition Tips

By Michelle Grocke, 2014-2015, Nepal

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Michelle Grocke, 2014-2015, Nepal, harvesting bitter buckwheat crops between September and October. While at first she had to beg her host family to help, after a few days, every family in the village wanted her assistance as they quickly realized she was actually quite helpful!

For my Fulbright U.S. Student grant, I travelled to an area of Nepal that many locals and scholars alike call “the most remote district of Nepal.” Nestled high in the Himalaya, the villages in Humla District lie between 9,000 – 12,500 feet, and are not connected to the rest of the country by any roads. Humla is both ethnically and linguistically split as Nepali-speaking Hindus live in the south, while Tibetan-speaking Buddhists live in the north. The traditional diet of the ethnic Tibetans in Humla consists of local grains such as barley and buckwheat, a few roots and tubers such as the potato and daikon radish, and a high volume of yak butter tea. Given their nutrient-dense diet, Humlis have never suffered from diet-related disease such as diabetes and hypertension.

All of this is changing. The first “dirt” road in Humla is currently under construction, and is providing easy access to a market in China (formerly Tibet) where Humlis are now purchasing enriched, processed foods such as ramen noodles, white flour, and soda. The goal of my research was to assess how this new market access is impacting villagers’ health, specifically in terms of their food security, diet and nutrition, and subjective well-being.

Always accompanied by my local research assistant, who now has become like a younger brother to me, I walked five days from the District capital to reach my first field site village.

Athletic Training

By Christina Galardi, 2012-2013, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to South Korea

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Teaching numbers: Christina Galardi, 2012-2013, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to South Korea, teaches a captive audience a counting lesson in English as part of an early childhood cognitive development program through iFuture at the University of Ulsan. Ulsan, South Korea

I’m staring at an IQ test with fear that my hard-earned college GPA will be put to shame.

During my winter break from my Fulbright English Teaching Assistant position, I worked for a month with a Korean professor who previously pursued a Fulbright grant in the United States with a venture company that develops child cognitive development programs. I started by taking the same diagnostic test used to assess children.

Thankfully, my test anxiety was resolved by a satisfactory score. The professor then handed me some research articles to familiarize myself with the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program used by the company. As I sat down with the texts, I blew the dust from my academic machinery and flexed my intellectual muscles.

In a few months, I will lift the scholastic heavyweights again to pursue a master’s degree in public health following my return home to the United States. Perhaps it will take a little while to get back into my routine, but I don’t think my mental force will have atrophied.