Category Archives: FLTA

Exchanging Cultures, Building Friendships: A Fulbright Thanksgiving Story

By Mehnaz Tabassum, 2017-2018, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Bangladesh

A candid moment from the Thanksgiving dinner at the home of Lecturer Thuy-Anh T. Nguyen (second from left) with fellow Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants

Editor’s note: Did you celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States or abroad this year as a Fulbrighter? We’d love to hear your story! Send us a note or share it on social media with #Fulbright.

A Bangladeshi, an Italian, a Thai, an Indian, an elderly Filipino couple, and three Vietnamese people sat down for dinner at a Vietnamese-American house. This may sound like the start of a clichéd joke, but this was exactly what my first-ever Thanksgiving feast looked like.

This year, thanks to the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (FLTA), I had the opportunity to be in the United States for this one-of-a-kind celebration. I had heard and learned about Thanksgiving through the Internet over the years, and I grew up looking at sumptuous Thanksgiving meal illustrations in Archie comics; where the biggest, juiciest turkey and other mouthwatering foods were served.

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Program Update: Consolidation of Fulbright’s Twitter Feeds

Do you follow the Fulbright Scholar Program on Twitter @FulbrightSchlrs?

In order to help you find Fulbright-related content in one place, we are consolidating our Twitter accounts and will be moving Fulbright Scholar Program content from @FulbrightSchlrs to @FulbrightPrgrm beginning September 13, 2017.

Be sure to follow @FulbrightPrgrm on Twitter for all things #Fulbright – including Fulbright Scholar Program news and opportunities for students, faculty, professionals, and universities.

Connect with us on all of our social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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Happy 71st Anniversary, Fulbright!

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From Arabic Student to Anthropologist: Fulbright Full Circle

By Gwyneth Talley, 2015-2016, Morocco

Gwyneth Talley, 2015-2016, Morocco (third from left), at the opening of a festival in Zagora, Morocco with Amal Ahmri and her tbourida troupe.

My Fulbright journey began with one distinct moment: My first Arabic class in 2009 where Tunisian Fulbrighter Beligh Ben Taleb, a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA), taught me my Alif–Baa–Taas (or my Arabic ABCs) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. It was Beligh’s first trip to the United States, first Ramadan in a non-Muslim country, and first American teaching experience. He would set a high bar for all the other Fulbright FLTAs to follow at the University.

I remember the class vividly, full of heritage speakers, curious students who wanted to work in government, and a few looking for a challenging language. Beligh took teaching Arabic in stride and encouraged us to participate in cultural activities by cooking traditional Arab meals, helping us translate songs, and dressing us up in Tunisian clothes. Aside from learning how to introduce ourselves, the most memorable phrase I remember Beligh teaching me was: “I ride horses.”

In the summer of 2010, I took my first trip to Morocco to study Arabic and French. I stayed with a horse training family, which would lead me to my graduate research in anthropology. While learning Modern Standard Arabic, my host family immersed me in Moroccan dialect and culture–specifically their horse culture. I also met the incoming Fulbright FLTA assigned to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Othmane Zakaria. He was born and raised in the city of Meknes where I was staying for the summer. We shared tidbits about our cultures, and I warned him to buy his winter coat in the States because Nebraska winters were not like winters in Morocco.

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Fulbright FLTAs Wish You a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The Fulbright Program between the U.S. and Ireland was established in 1957, making 2017 the 60th anniversary year.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) made these short videos of their American students learning Gaelic or the Irish Language. This year there are nine Irish FLTAs teaching Gaelic in the United States. Overall, there are 396 FLTAs from 49 countries teaching 33 languages this academic year.

American students from Notre Dame, NYU, Idaho State University and University of Montana wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day – “Lá le Pádraig sona duit!”

Thank you to Irish FLTAs, Siobhán Ní Mhuimhneacháin, 2016-2017 Irish FLTA to Notre Dame, Eimear Kennedy, 2016-2017 Irish FLTA to NYU, Áine Ní Shuilleabháin, 2016-2017 Irish FLTA to Idaho State University, and Patrick John Seehan, 2016-2017 Irish FLTA to University of Montana for your work! Special thanks to the Fulbright Commission in Ireland for collecting the videos!

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