UD Students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program

UD Students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program


The Fulbright program is built on this idea
of cultural exchange. I was there to learn, but also they were there
to learn from me. They would always tell me, you are not a typical
American. But they had never met any other American. So their ideas came from media and
online. It’s personally rewarding. I think I have
become a better person. I think I can contribute to society better and can understand different
people better. For my Fulbright, I went to a small village
in Honduras, in central Honduras. It was called La Concepcion. And I lived there with a family,
and became very much a part of that community. I worked with a nonprofit Heart to Honduras
and did community development work. So we would go to these impoverished villages,
and we would sit down with them and say, ‘What is the vision for your community, and what
are the resources that you have? I was teaching in a very, very rural location
in Thailand. I lived at the school. So I would commute
about thirty seconds. We would do a morning assembly. And I would teach about five classes
a day. It was all English classes. I taught grades seven through twelve. And then after
school I would usually, I led a club. I led the American film club. Which basically involved
us watching a lot of American movies and talking about them and what they meant, and also working
on our English skills as well. Grace: I went to Malaysia. All of us had a
month-long orientation. And then we were just sent out to our placements. And I lived in
a small town on the island of Borneo. Depending on the teacher I was working with, some days
I would lead class, some days I would help class. That was only half of my job. The other
half I spent organizing after school activities, planning English camps. I went to the Czech Republic. I was a teaching
assistant in English classrooms. I would do some sort of presentation on an American state
or a national park, and then we would talk in English about it. The ones who were curious about English, whenever
they asked me to do something I always went. So I visited a lot of students’ villages
and their houses. And just tried to always say yes to everything A lot of times you are going to be
overwhelmed by culture shock or exhausted. But when somebody calls you up to go to dinner
or to go to the mountains for the weekend, just go, because you are not going to regret
it. I think I learned a lot about myself. And
you learn what you’re capable of. You learn about another culture. And how well you can
adapt to something like that. And how far you can kind of push yourself outside of your
comfort zone. So it really makes you think about your goals
and what you want out of life and how you are going to live on. The Office of Fellowship Advising was definitely
helpful during the whole process. The staff checked my essays, made sure I made deadlines,
walked… pretty much held my hand through the whole process. And made sure my application
was the best it could be before I finally submitted it. And Fulbright is, here is this opportunity
where you are going to work, you are going to be paid, and you’re going to receive an
experience abroad. And there’s not many opportunities or organization that let you become immersed
in the culture, but also has such a great support system. If there is any inkling at all that makes
you think maybe you want to do it, apply. Apply and forget about it. The application
process is so long… Put in your application, and if you get accepted, that is amazing,
and you can make your decision then. But throw your hat in the ring; give it a shot, and
if you get it, then really, really consider doing it. Because it was one of the best experiences
of my life. If you want to learn more about yourself, learn more about American culture, you realize what we have here when you are away. And if you want to learn about another
group of people, the way other people live and love and learn and laugh, then go for
it. It definitely had its challenges, but in the end I would do it all over again.

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