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!
Jilisa Milton, 2014-2015, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Indonesia, at the underground mosque near Taman Sari (Water Castle) in Yogyakarta
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.
Tenele Dlamini, 2015-2017, Swaziland (left), attending the 2016 Hult Prize Regionals in San Francisco, California – the only participating all-female team
I have always been passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. Studying economics as an undergrad exposed me to the field’s power and how it can be used as a tool to transform people’s lives. This passion led me to apply to the Fulbright Program. Now, I’m fortunate enough to be a Fulbright Student enrolled in the Graduate Program of Economic Development (GPED) at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
This past academic year, I had the honor of representing my university at the 2016 Hult Prize Challenge Regionals, in San Francisco, California. The Hult Prize Challenge is an initiative of The Clinton Foundation. It is an annual case competition open to university students from all over the world that they enter through their universities. Each year presents a new challenge of global concern that students have to solve. The challenge is mostly a way to mobilize social entrepreneurship as a method to solving some of the world’s biggest problems.
David J. Smith, 2003-2004, Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Estonia (right), with his family
I have come to believe that, like the fermenting of a fine wine, a Fulbright opportunity, to be fully appreciated, needs to be considered years after the experience. There is much enthusiasm when one comes back from their time overseas about how one might make a difference in their community. But, I think there is value in looking back years after an experience and taking stock of the difference one has made.
I served as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in 2003 and taught peace studies at the University of Tartu in Estonia. At the time I was teaching in a community college, as such I represented a minority of scholars. Community colleges have been historically under represented in the program.
Now thirteen years later, I feel I have done justice to the privilege that a Fulbright offered me. I took to heart Senator Fulbright’s goal that an exchange program could make significant impact in promoting world peace. Upon returning to the United States, I dedicated my career to the work of world peace: promoting conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and global education at the U.S. Institute of Peace, teaching in higher education, starting an NGO dedicated to humanitarian training, and working as a consultant.
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.