The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. Each year Vassar College supports as many as 40+ applicants for Fulbright Grants. Vassar College will forward to the Fulbright Commission all appropriately completed applications for a Fulbright award. Recipients are chosen by the National Screening Committee.
Mikayla Brennan-Burke ’17 - ETA Greece “I would be thrilled to build community with students through forensics. I would design public speaking workshops, help students develop characters, or offer support as they craft strong debate arguments. In addition, I plan to attend a Greek Orthodox Church, gather groups to hike, and say “yes” to invitations for dinner, bike rides, or live music. Duolingo will be my new best friend as l travel with my grandma’s famous banana bread recipe in my pocket, sharing language and food wherever I go.”
Mandy Chin ’18 - ETA Taiwan “I want to show students that learning a new language will not only open new avenues for exploration but also introduce them to new ways of thinking and experiencing the world around them. I will bring my enthusiasm, patience, and compassion to the classroom, as these strengths are the foundation for building an inclusive community and an engaging learning environment for students. An ETA in Taiwan would allow me to do what I love and promote cross-cultural learning, appreciation, and exchange.”
How Yu Chung ’18 - ETA Taiwan “My goal is to become an Asian American Studies professor. After teaching Greek and Latin as well as youth empowerment programs in Japan, I hope to further develop my teaching skills. By teaching English, I hope to instill in students the value of language to create dialogue. I am particularly interested in Taiwan because of its independence movement. Thus, I plan to speak about the conflict between nationality and ethnicity with Taiwaners to expand my own understanding of Asian racial identity.”
Sino Esthappan ’16 – Netherlands “As a social and cultural anthropology student, my coursework and fieldwork will align with the department's "Constructing Identities and Notions of Belonging" profile. Through courses on mobility and diversity, as well as a three-month-long fieldwork experience, I will aim to understand how Muslim youth in the Netherlands navigate their religious identity, the barriers they face to civic participation, and their relationship with the country's public institutions.”
Nicolas Gedigk ’19 - ETA South Korea “With previous experiences as a tutor, German instructor, assistant for course development, and teacher in foreign environments, I developed diverse pedagogical skills that have helped me adapt and engage across difference with respect and the aim of cross-cultural understanding. Being an ETA would be an opportunity for acquiring a global pedagogical outlook, rekindling a fading connection to my family’s Korean heritage, and exploring what it means to be what I’ve been labeled my whole life.”
Lars Odland ’17 - ETA Czech Republic “I am applying for an ETA program in the Czech Republic to teach English through cultural comparison and to immerse myself in Czech culture. I hope to incorporate the culture of my students and my own American perspective in class to support language learning. As a New York State certified secondary teacher with experience as a classroom teacher, a teaching assistant, and a tutor, the ETA will provide me with invaluable classroom experience I will take with me into my future endeavors.”
Savannah Smith ’19 – Cameroon “The objective of this study is to understand how relationships to land, or land tenure, is changing amongst local farmers as Cameroon implements its development strategies to bring the country into emerging status by 2035. I will do this by conducting interviews in locations where large-scale land acquisitions, one development strategy, have occurred and carrying out ethnographic work to frame this change against the backdrop of an agrarian transformation.”