All abroad for a Fulbright year

All+abroad+for+a+Fulbright+year

Jeremy Troetti

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Laszlo Dinca” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]For various reasons, students may be unable to study abroad during their undergraduate years. However, students can still have a chance to study abroad post-graduation by applying for the Fulbright scholarship.

Associate Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and Student Fellowships Advisor Mary Paddock explained the various benefits the Fulbright scholarship offers to students.

“Fulbright is a prestigious U.S. State Department-sponsored fellowship for students who have completed their (Bachelor of Arts degree or Bachelor of Science degree), but do not yet hold a doctorate,” Paddock said in an email. “It provides full funding, including airfare and monthly stipend, for students to spend a year abroad teaching English, studying at a university or conducting individual research.”

Paddock explained that students who are interested in applying for the Fulbright scholarship should be proactive and should do so within the first few weeks of the fall semester.

“Students must hold a B.A./B.S. by the start of the grant period, so students should apply as seniors or graduate students,” Paddock said. “The national deadline is in early to mid-October.”

Fulbright finalist Jason Culmone described how he first heard about the Fulbright scholarship during his sophomore year.

“Being a sophomore, I couldn’t have applied that year; but the Fulbright was always something that I kept in the back of my mind until I was eligible to apply for it,” Culmone said.

Despite the national deadline falling in early to mid-October, Paddock said students looking to apply for the Fulbright scholarship through Quinnipiac need to apply even earlier.

“The institutional deadline for initial submission usually falls in early to mid-September, followed by a mandatory Campus Committee Interview,” Paddock said.

Current Quinnipiac students must apply through the university, while alumni have the option of applying through the university or at-large, according to Paddock.

Paddock said the Fulbright scholarship can benefit graduate students by giving them a unique opportunity to study abroad wherever they please.

“Fulbright is well-known throughout the world, and offers students an opportunity to spend a fully funded year abroad in a country of their choice,” Paddock said. “This offers students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture other than their own, while gaining experience teaching, conducting research, or studying at the graduate level in a university abroad.”

She explained that, even if a student does not get his or her application accepted, the application process alone is a beneficial experience for students.

“The process of applying for a Fulbright – whether the application is successful or not – is also beneficial to students, because it helps them to clarify their academic, personal and professional goals,” Paddock said. “The statements required for the application are in a particular genre that is not generally taught in universities, but is useful for grant applications, application to graduate schools, and even job applications, in that it is an exercise in clarifying how your goals, plans and preparation align with a particular opportunity.”

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Fullbright” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Culmone described what he feels the Fulbright scholarship can offer to students.

“The Fulbright offers a student the chance to learn, grow, and most importantly contribute in positive ways to a new country and community while part of a network of people – scholars, friends, and like-minded individuals,” Culmone said. “And this, while pursuing research that that person is passionate about, a university degree with which they plan to make a difference to the world that matters to them; or while teaching English to young students abroad, immersed in that place’s culture.”

Fulbright scholar Laszlo Dinca, who is originally from Hungary, explained what he has personally gotten out of the scholarship.

“I personally met and made friends with extraordinary people from all around the world,” Dinca said. “Some people call Fulbright as a Passport, which opens borders and enhances cross border relationships. I can happily say that thanks to Fulbright I have a handful of exceptional friends on every continent, except for Antarctica.”