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U.S. Fulbright

The Importance of a Smile: Creating a Culture of English in a Spanish High School

October 2, 2014
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Rio Bauce, 2012-2013, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Spain (right, standing), observing a student delegate speak about clean water in a UN conference committee in CRIF Las Acacias in Madrid

I would like to dedicate this post to my mother, Meryl Zelda Kolevzon, who has provided me with the inspiration for this article. In August 1998, she passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. She would have been 69 on October 9th, 2014. Her ability to smile through all of her struggles has showed me the power a smile on those around you, even when they are under difficult circumstances.

The sense of wonder a student feels after a teacher pauses in the middle of a thrilling story, a high-pitched laugh at a joke told on the schoolyard, a parent admiring their child’s drawing of a goat. Curiosity, humor, and joy are emotions that make lasting imprints on a child’s education. In April 2012, I was selected to become a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Madrid, Spain. That September, I left California to be an ETA at IES José Luis Sampedro in Tres Cantos, Spain. On the first day of school, teachers and students at my suburban school thirty kilometers outside of Madrid were nervous to begin school and hoped that everything would function smoothly. From my experience, the last three years teaching in a classroom setting, one of the most powerful tools that teachers have in their arsenal to make students feel safe is an uncompromising smile.

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U.S. Fulbright

Putting the Final Touches Your Fulbright U.S. Student Program Application? Attend the Last Webinar on October 2!

September 29, 2014

Have last minute questions and need a few final tips before submitting your online Fulbright U.S. Student Program application on October 14? Attend the last webinar of the 2015-2016 competition on Thursday, October 2!

Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014

Time: 2:00 P.M. EST – 3:00 P.M. EST

Fulbright U.S. Student Program staff will share tips and advice for polishing and finalizing your application.


The webinar will start at 2:00 p.m. and end at 3:00 p.m.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar. If you have not already, you will need to download the GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar client software.

System Requirements:

Windows: Windows XP or newer
Mac: OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or newer

Miss the last webinar on polishing your application? Check out the recorded version right here:

Polishing Your Application Webinar from Fulbright Program on Vimeo.

Still have questions? Feel free to contact us Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

U.S. Fulbright

My Malaysia Mosaic: Bringing Cultures Together

September 25, 2014
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Janice Feng, 2012-2013, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Malaysia (center), with her students attending a district wide art workshop

Three weeks before the Fulbright U.S. Student Program application deadline, I walked into my Fulbright Program Adviser’s office and told her that I wanted to apply for a grant to Malaysia. Rather than turning me away, she helped me prepare my application, critiqued my essay drafts, and was an invaluable resource throughout the entire process. For every Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) applicant, one of the most daunting tasks is tailoring his or her life story to the country of application. For me, the questions were, “Why Malaysia? And why me?”

In order to take full advantage of the opportunity to live and understand a country at its roots, I wanted to pick a place as far removed from the United States as possible. Malaysia offered the unique challenge of living and teaching with three distinct races, religions, and languages. Why choose to delve into one culture when I could learn about three?

My placement in a secondary school of over two thousand students was a melting pot of the country’s demographic blend. Although I got exactly what I hoped for, I had no idea what lay ahead. The classroom not only contained the typical high school obstacles, but the students would also self-segregate themselves according to gender and race. As an ETA, I served in many roles: as a teacher and a cultural ambassador for the United States, yes, but also as a friend, mentor, and even mediator. There were days I struggled with the stress of adapting to such a different environment, but there were also countless moments that made it all worth it.

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U.S. Fulbright

Have You Met the 2014-2015 Fulbright-mtvU Grantees? Learn More About This Year’s Impressive Group.

September 22, 2014

Thinking about a Fulbright-mtvU application and need some inspiration? Look no further than the 2014-2015 cohort and their projects.

Established in 2007, the Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship allows U.S. graduate students and recent graduates to pursue an academic project abroad that explores the power of music as a cultural force for expression or change around the world.

2014-15 Fulbright-mtvU Grantees

The 2014-2015 Fulbright-mtvU Grantees (left to right): Benjamin Cohn, Corinne Stokes, Jillian Marshall, Martha O’Donovan, and Scott Shigeoka

The 2014-2015 Fulbright-mtvU Fellows:

Benjamin Cohn is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound, where he studied international political economy. Cohn’s fellowship will focus on the political-economic impact of music on Ghana’s rich history and culture, and he will use that research to set up a program to facilitate access to music education for the youth of Accra, Ghana’s capital. Working with local musicians and organizations, Cohn will build a program to give the students a voice through the power of music. After graduation, Cohn moved to Yangsan, South Korea where he taught English for one year. Since returning to the United States, he has focused on music journalism, founding a hip-hop web site,

Jillian Marshall earned a B.A. in East Asian languages and civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2009, and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in ethnomusicology at Cornell University. After her undergraduate studies, Marshall moved to Japan for two years to teach English at a middle school in a small fishing village. It was during this initial time in Japan that she became fascinated with Japanese music, inspiring her to return to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. For her Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, Marshall will be researching three different music scenes in Japan – traditional, J-pop and underground techno – to understand the link between music, society and identity in this unique culture.

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Foreign Fulbright

Views from Across the Pond: Exploring Legal and Civic Cultures

September 17, 2014
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Lucy Chambers, 2013-2014, United Kingdom (right), painting bookmarks for literacy projects for the Cambridge Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

As a Fulbright Student from the United Kingdom, I pursued a Master of Laws degree at Harvard Law School; in my LL.M. research, I investigated the utility of a functionalist approach to private law, and how this U.S.-based approach to legal research can be useful for better understanding UK private law theory. This involves developing my knowledge of law and economics, both institutional and situational economics and efficiency theory, and applying this and other theories of private law, including a remedies-focused approach, to the UK laws of contract and restitution so that a fuller theoretical picture may be developed. I hope to take this research and knowledge back to the UK and further the study of Law and Economics, along with a functionalist approach to private law, at all levels of legal scholarship and teaching.

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U.S. Fulbright

Miss the Last Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship Webinar? We’ve Got the Recorded Version Right Here.

September 15, 2014

Working on a Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship application and missed the last webinar? No worries. Check out the recorded version right here:

Fulbright-Clinton Meet a Fellow Webinar from Fulbright Program on Vimeo.

Also, be sure to tune in and attend the next Fulbright-Clinton webinar on finalizing your application this Thursday, September 18 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST. For more information and to learn how to sign up, click here.