This year, fifteen University of Georgia students were selected as recipients of the 2018 U.S Fulbright Scholars program. With this national scholarship, students have ventured to Spain, England and other countries to conduct research.
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As the largest exchange program offered to students within the country, there is a major opportunity for students and young professionals to engage in “international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.”
As reported recently in The Red & Black, students usually apply to the program during the fall semester of their senior year. If chosen, students begin the program after completing their undergraduate degree.
Maria de Rocher, the Fulbright adviser at UGA, spreads the word to students about the Fulbright program and helps students prepare for the process which includes a campus stage and a national stage, and then the host country becomes involved.
Chosen by the national committee, finalists are picked at the end of January. The host country will make the final decision and applicants will find out the final decision between March-May.
Most of the UGA Fulbright Scholars have already embarked to their host countries. Out of 140 countries that participate in the program, the UGA Fulbright Scholars will study in Vietnam, Spain, Norway, South Korea, Malaysia, Brazil, Finland, Hungary, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
Scholars can spend one academic year working on engineering, English teaching, geography, linguistics, ecology, creative writing and education.
Elizabeth Jennings, one of the UGA Fulbright Scholars who is living in Logroño with two girls from Spain, works in two Spanish high schools with 10 different teachers and more than 300 students of varying ages. There she assists English teachers and shares the English language and culture with her Spanish students.
“I feel so fortunate to collaborate with and learn from many teachers and experience what it is like to teach students from seventh grade all the way to technical school,” Jennings said.
Jennings, who graduated with a degree in Spanish and World Language Education from UGA, said her world language education prepared her with “the pedagogical tools and student teaching experience needed to be an effective teacher.”
“I am thankful for all the preparation from student teaching and the College of Education as it will influence my future teaching experience here in Spain and beyond,” Jennings said.
Jennings said that living in a new environment outside the U.S. is rewarding and challenging.
“Being sure of who you are will help you in your cultural adjustment to a new environment while you learn to respect and understand the values, perspectives and customs of others,” Jennings said.