Posted: May 8, 2009
In the past six years, five St. Ambrose students have earned a Fulbright award, the oldest and largest U.S. exchange program–and one of the most prestigious. It offers opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
Because it is a competitive award, its value is recognized in many countries. It gives students the opportunity to attend classes and conduct worthwhile research in a foreign country, but it also encourages them to become involved with the local people in many less formal ways. The idea is that this exchange will foster peace and understanding.
St. Ambrose competes for the Fulbright with all private and public universities and colleges nationwide. Only about 1,500 awards are handed out each year, but thousands apply for those coveted spots that can provide a fully-funded research or teaching fellowship overseas.
The application process begins with students preparing their application about five months before the submission deadline. Once submitted, it is screened by a national committee that narrows the field of applicants. From that pool, country representatives choose the first candidates and their alternates. A medical exam and documentation of a bachelor's degree complete the process.
"It is an honor for students to be singled out from a large pool of excellent candidates from schools nationwide," said St. Ambrose University Fulbright Program Advisor Barbara Pitz. "We have been successful each year that our students have applied."
Travis Leggett '06 was a teaching assistant in Austria while studying World History and European Studies at the University of Vienna.
Jenna Stevens '08 was awarded a scholarship to teach ESL in South Korea. Read her story.
Samantha Lee '09 will assess a computerized reporting system that monitors the spread of the AIDS disease in Trinidad and Tobago. Read her story.