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U.S. Fulbright

A Lao Experience through Fulbright

February 8, 2016

Michael Bayyouk, 2014-2015, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Laos (far left, first row), with his sophomore English class students at Savannakhet University in Laos this past summer

I first heard of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program while I was a teacher in New York City. I had one of those “This is what I’ve always wanted to do!” moments and was soon applying through my graduate school, St. John’s University. My first application was declined, but I was told by my Fulbright Program Adviser to reapply next year. I’m very glad I took his advice!

My experience in Laos through the Fulbright ETA Program was beyond anything I could have prepared myself for. Even with the intensive, pre-service Fulbright training, there were plenty of lifestyle adjustments to be made. The learning curve included driving a motorbike while eluding aggressive stray dogs (good thing I had had my Rabies boosters), understanding and ordering a completely new menu of foods, and attempting to communicate through a very tonal language.

Fortunately, I was not alone in my assignment and was accompanied by two other Fulbright ETAs, Jessica and Mysee. They would be the closest and most reliable forms of support I had during my program. Collaborating with my Lao co-teachers, staff, and faculty was professionally and personally stimulating and beneficial. We became friends and I was invited to their family dinners, events, weddings, and holiday parties. I learned the most about Lao culture this way! There is a fun game that we would play called Kato or Rattan Ball. It’s like volleyball and hacky sack combined!

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U.S. Fulbright

A Slew of New Opportunities

September 27, 2012

In the last couple months, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has added several new opportunities throughout the world, from Laos to Greece to Senegal, in both English Teaching Assistanship and Study/Research (full) categories of grants. Here’s a quick listing below, with three from just the last two days!

With the deadline only a few weeks away, could one of these new opportunities be the one you were looking for?