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  1. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Still clinging to a vestige of hope that some Czech finalist will get an amazing opportunity and I'll get bumped up from alternate :'( But because that seems extremely unlikely, I will say: I applied three years in a row for three different Fulbright awards (in retrospect, the first one was not well-suited to my current trajectory), the second two were ETAs. I thought my credentials were decent, essays strong, excellent undergrad GPA from a well-reputed college. The first two times I didn't make it past the first round. This time I was chosen as an alternate. One of my good friends was chosen for a different ETA with a pretty lousy undergrad record from a small little-known school in the midwest. From my experience it seems like Fulbright really doesn't value academic work or prestige the same way that a lot of other grants do, which is great for a lot of people! But for people like me who want it so badly to have an opportunity to travel abroad, it's so hard to know how to improve my applications/experiences from year to year. I guess I should give up at this point and just acknowledge that I don't have a certain quality they're looking for but ugh it stings when you want something so badly and feel like you worked your butt off for it. A twisted part of me keeps thinking "you were so close this time - do it again!" but I don't think my app would be any different at this point. Sorry had to get that off my chest because being an alternate sucks in so many ways
  2. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Yes that's what's frustrating. I'm confident in my Spanish-speaking ABILITY (I have a lot of Spanish-speaking friends so I've had that kind of immersion) and a cursory look at Portuguese makes me think it wouldn't be too much of a challenge for me to learn. But it seems like Fulbright ETA's don't value self-teaching - you need the academic credits. Which is silly to me also because there are loads of people fluent in a foreign language who have never taken classes through their university! (Also I've just remembered that I DID take AP Spanish in high school before I took my year of intermediate Spanish in college. I wonder if that would count. Prob not.)
  3. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Ugh I really want to apply for this! I'm an alternate for Czech ETA (they sent me an email about this opportunity today). Even though I don't know any Portuguese or much about Brazil the way I do Europe, I'm confident I could learn by the start of the grant! Unfortunately it looks like you need at least two years equivalent of a romance language and I only have one (Spanish). Any thoughts on if this could be circumvented? (Also would it be weird to get in touch with a professor I had five years ago for a foreign language eval?). It's always the darn recs that dissuade me from trying for cool things!
  4. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Officially one month since being declared Alternate for Czech ETA. Still clinging to hope!
  5. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Oh I hope that's true! Maybe there's still a chance then
  6. Fulbright 2017-2018

    As an alternate, I've like pretty much given up hope already and am thinking if it's worth applying a fourth time. I'm totally fine with all the application work; it's the references that I hate. It's so embarrassing for me to ask for favors especially as I get further away from college and fuzzier in the minds of people writing me recs. I've always been that way though - letters of recommendation and references often preclude me from applying to things I want. Don't know how to get past that anxiety/shame
  7. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Congrats, m8! You so deserve it - knock their socks off and rep the States well <3
  8. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Been ten days since I was notified with the sinister (A). No word yet. Losing hope every day. (I've turned this into a diary)
  9. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Hey just wanted to rectify something I said earlier - I assumed that a friend of mine had gotten accepted his second time applying to YLS because he's padded his resume with teaching experience in South America. But I just spoke with him a few days ago and he said he had retaken the LSAT and scored much higher and he attributes getting into his top choice law school to that. According to everyone I've talked to, an ETA won't help with law school (still seems pretty strictly LSAT and GPA unless you have something truly exemplary). But it's a valuable human experience to spend time in another country if you ask me!
  10. Fulbright 2017-2018

    So many alternates! Welcome to purgatory, fellas. Will be rooting for you all in the coming months - don't forget to let us know if you get promoted so we can all keep our hopes up!
  11. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Question - if I'm an alternate, do I have to be afraid that if they send me another email it will be to say "sorry everyone has accepted and we don't have a place for you" or is any news from this point safely assumed to be GOOD news? (obsessively waiting/hoping)
  12. Fulbright 2017-2018

    I honestly think it comes down more to luck at this point than anything. We could try to scrutinize but really it all has to do with which (if any) primary select denies their grant. My biggest concern is like if there was a last minute need for me, I wouldn't have time to prepare by learning Czech (language wasn't required for applying but they recommend working knowledge of the language by the time you go). If they somehow called me up in August saying "hey a spot opened up last minute," I'd be like uhhhhhhhh can you learn a whole language in a couple weeks? hah Anyway, I really just wish they published the numbers of how many alternates there are.
  13. Fulbright 2017-2018

    I'm sure it's different between countries (I'm an alternate for Czech ETA). But the email I received seemed to imply that the finalists are encouraged to give their answers within a month. I take that to mean that our best chance is in the next month, if someone denies their grant (maybe because they found another opportunity or can't go). After a month, I'll probably give up hope personally and then just treat it like a lottery that I might magically win but probably won't hah.
  14. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Haha this is my thought exactly. Hoping someone got something they want more than the Fulbright so little ol me can sneak in and snatch it up!
  15. Fulbright 2017-2018

    I wonder how many alternates are promoted because someone declined their offer vs how many are promoted because extra funding comes through? ME: speculating wildly for the next month and you'll all have to see it, sorry