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Fulbright 2017-2018

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2 hours ago, milliedaisy said:

Does anyone know (based on webinars, experience, etc.) what the selection committee is looking for with "community engagement" for US student research grants? I am have university affiliation, and would plan on matriculating into the student body + the ethnographic component of my research is sort of inherently community engagement. Maybe they want to know if I'll volunteer or teach in the community? I'm sort of at a loss... and it was recommended on the website to include this in the Statement of Grant Purpose so I'm definitely concerned! If anyone has any thoughts, I'd be so grateful for advice! 

Community engagement really does vary on applicant. Some people join a church. Some people join a sports league. What I've always told students is that you should think of something you already do in the US to interact with your local community and consider if that is an option. I, for example, am part of a local soccer's fan club (for the Bundesliga). We meet weekly to watch games and organize BBQs and other stuff. So I plan to do a similar thing when in Germany. It doesn't need to be volunteering, they just want to see you've thought about how you can integrate into your community. I am not including my in my SoGP. I am writing the answer in the box on the application form and I think my PS will be enough to show that I know how to integrate into German communities.

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Hi everyone! I'm not actually applying for this cycle, but I've been reading into the application process and had a question about previous travel experience.

I've heard from multiple unofficial sources that Fulbright prefers to award students who have had little travel experience. For me, I was born in South Korea, and moved to the US when I was 6. I've been very fortunate enough to receive financial aid through my school that covered two summer abroad sessions in Greece and Germany. I'll be returning to Korea next summer through a scholarship to do a documentary project.

I'll most likely be applying for the creative project piece if I end up going through with the Fulbright. I originally had Korea in mind, but will most likely apply for China instead (which I'm still greatly interested in), as I feel like they won't approve of me going back to a country I was born in--and will have done a previous project in. But at this point, I'm starting to get a little nervous that all of my international experience will put me at a disadvantage regardless of where I apply.

Any thoughts and experiences you guys have to share? Thanks so much!

Edited by OrcaJoc
typo herpaderp

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4 hours ago, OrcaJoc said:

Hi everyone! I'm not actually applying for this cycle, but I've been reading into the application process and had a question about previous travel experience.

I've heard from multiple unofficial sources that Fulbright prefers to award students who have had little travel experience. For me, I was born in South Korea, and moved to the US when I was 6. I've been very fortunate enough to receive financial aid through my school that covered two summer abroad sessions in Greece and Germany. I'll be returning to Korea next summer through a scholarship to do a documentary project.

I'll most likely be applying for the creative project piece if I end up going through with the Fulbright. I originally had Korea in mind, but will most likely apply for China instead (which I'm still greatly interested in), as I feel like they won't approve of me going back to a country I was born in--and will have done a previous project in. But at this point, I'm starting to get a little nervous that all of my international experience will put me at a disadvantage regardless of where I apply.

Any thoughts and experiences you guys have to share? Thanks so much!

From all of the webinars I have been watching they do not want applicants with extensive travel experience within the country they are applying to other countries typically do not matter as much aside from giving you international experience. Also university study abroad programs do not count as extensive travel/experience.

As for the grant, there is a requirement of  2 years of  mandarin at the very least. It is up to you which country to select but I know a lot of people usually cater their research projects as a continuation of something they have done before especially if it was in that country. It may make a stronger case since you would already have established affiliation and contacts in Korea. However China can also be a good option if you can make a case for it.

Your best info would come from the source itself! Here is the link to all of the recorded webinars

http://us.fulbrightonline.org/resources/recorded-webinars

 

 

Edited by hobakie

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13 hours ago, OrcaJoc said:

Hi everyone! I'm not actually applying for this cycle, but I've been reading into the application process and had a question about previous travel experience.

I've heard from multiple unofficial sources that Fulbright prefers to award students who have had little travel experience. For me, I was born in South Korea, and moved to the US when I was 6. I've been very fortunate enough to receive financial aid through my school that covered two summer abroad sessions in Greece and Germany. I'll be returning to Korea next summer through a scholarship to do a documentary project.

I'll most likely be applying for the creative project piece if I end up going through with the Fulbright. I originally had Korea in mind, but will most likely apply for China instead (which I'm still greatly interested in), as I feel like they won't approve of me going back to a country I was born in--and will have done a previous project in. But at this point, I'm starting to get a little nervous that all of my international experience will put me at a disadvantage regardless of where I apply.

Any thoughts and experiences you guys have to share? Thanks so much!

I'll to the amazing above answer that "extensive" means extensive. I have people panicking because they, over the course of their life, went on three week long vacations to Europe with their family. That isn't extensive. Three years in Russia? That is extensive.

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Thank you both so much! I suppose growing up as a child in the country probably counts as extensive experience haha. I think I'll still apply in the future though; it's always worth a shot!

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I personally don't think it's that extensive? From what it sounds like you moved when you were six. So your education and schooling and likely even thought processes were shaped by American values. Yes you probably have strong cultural and linguistic ties to Korea ,but I am willing to bet there are many areas where you think with your "American" brain as opposed to your "Korean" one (if this makes sense) the Fulbright is about promoting cross cultural understanding between the US and fellow countries, the research/study is merely the medium they chose to accomplish this. Seeing that you have an understanding of both cultures but not a complete understanding of both cultures in my opinion makes you a great candidate for applying. I wouldn't sell yourself short just yet it's all about how you can make an appealing case for promoting the fulbright mission.

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On 7/25/2016 at 3:12 PM, OrcaJoc said:

Thank you both so much! I suppose growing up as a child in the country probably counts as extensive experience haha. I think I'll still apply in the future though; it's always worth a shot!

It really depends. The only situation where I can imagine it would matter would be if 1) you had citizenship there and/or 2) you were up against an identical candidate, only they didn't have that experience, in which case, they could even say hey, we know OrcaJoc will probably be able to adapt better, so go with them OR they could say give someone else a new experience.

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On 3/31/2016 at 7:10 AM, LifeLearner said:

I'll be an ETA in Spain, but I wanted to let people who are applying to Spain that they have expanded their program!! There are now 123 awards instead of 46 with different regions!! You still can pick a preference (Madrid, La Rioja, Asutrias and Galicia I think) so hopefully your waiting will be less painless since you have more awards :)

Hey all!

I'm thinking about applying for an ETA in Spain for the second time (I was an alternate for the 2015-2016 cycle).  I am reviewing my old essays and the part I am questioning the most right now is the community engagement.  Last time in my SGP I talked about facilitating and participating in athletics leagues or clubs, since I have always been involved in some sort of organized sport.  I think this time I need to do a better job of explaining the community involvement and independent project.  While athletics are still important to me, my current idea is to establish a pen-pal network for students using the connections I have (I'm currently a high school teacher) that I could continue to use once I return to the US.

Any thoughts or advice on how to approach the community engagement and independent project?  Should I switch ideas or include both?

 

Thanks and good luck to everyone applying!

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On 8/4/2016 at 7:28 PM, trilingual said:

Hey all!

I'm thinking about applying for an ETA in Spain for the second time (I was an alternate for the 2015-2016 cycle).  I am reviewing my old essays and the part I am questioning the most right now is the community engagement.  Last time in my SGP I talked about facilitating and participating in athletics leagues or clubs, since I have always been involved in some sort of organized sport.  I think this time I need to do a better job of explaining the community involvement and independent project.  While athletics are still important to me, my current idea is to establish a pen-pal network for students using the connections I have (I'm currently a high school teacher) that I could continue to use once I return to the US.

Any thoughts or advice on how to approach the community engagement and independent project?  Should I switch ideas or include both?

 

Thanks and good luck to everyone applying!

If you set up a pen pal network, how are YOU engaging with the community? It sounds like you wouldn't be. You'd be pairing other people with US students. My suggestion would be to think about what you'll be doing for fun and to meet people. Joining a rec league? Joining a choir? A book club? They want to know you won't be hanging out in your apartment all day and that you'll interact with the local community.

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On 8/4/2016 at 6:28 PM, trilingual said:

Hey all!

I'm thinking about applying for an ETA in Spain for the second time (I was an alternate for the 2015-2016 cycle).  I am reviewing my old essays and the part I am questioning the most right now is the community engagement.  Last time in my SGP I talked about facilitating and participating in athletics leagues or clubs, since I have always been involved in some sort of organized sport.  I think this time I need to do a better job of explaining the community involvement and independent project.  While athletics are still important to me, my current idea is to establish a pen-pal network for students using the connections I have (I'm currently a high school teacher) that I could continue to use once I return to the US.

Any thoughts or advice on how to approach the community engagement and independent project?  Should I switch ideas or include both?

 

Thanks and good luck to everyone applying!

Great to hear you're applying! I agree with you and say definitely go more into detail about what exactly you want to do with athletics because just participating may not be enough information for the people who read the essays. Since you are also a HS teacher I think the pen pal program makes a lot of sense. Space permitting, you could probably include both. 

As far as general information on the community engagement and independent project, make it unique to who you are and your interests, but realistic too. I think we can write a million things we could do, but mentioning and narrowing down to 1-3 solid ideas is better than a large list of mini-activities. 

Good luck! Let me know if you need any more advice. 

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On August 4, 2016 at 7:28 PM, trilingual said:

Hey all!

I'm thinking about applying for an ETA in Spain for the second time (I was an alternate for the 2015-2016 cycle).  I am reviewing my old essays and the part I am questioning the most right now is the community engagement.  Last time in my SGP I talked about facilitating and participating in athletics leagues or clubs, since I have always been involved in some sort of organized sport.  I think this time I need to do a better job of explaining the community involvement and independent project.  While athletics are still important to me, my current idea is to establish a pen-pal network for students using the connections I have (I'm currently a high school teacher) that I could continue to use once I return to the US.

Any thoughts or advice on how to approach the community engagement and independent project?  Should I switch ideas or include both?

 

Thanks and good luck to everyone applying!

I have observed that a pen-pal network has been proposed tens of thousands of times in applications for international scholarships and opportunities. While it's great to have people interact with each other through writing, I personally have not once seen it executed or have seen it executed beyond a couple emails or letters. I would suggest instead thinking of a way that's new and that shows you've done some thinking and research on the host country. For example, if you want to go to India, you can volunteer with women's rights groups to see if people are aware that women spend, on average, five hours more on unpaid work a day than men and what solutions may look like to close that gap. Another way you can go about it is to use the (non-general) skills that you have to contribute to wherever you'll be placed. If you are good at mediation and resolving conflicts, you can help train the teachers or community leaders in the area, or maybe train student leaders to identify peer conflicts and to help them gain the courage and skills to stop them before it happens.

There are a number of creative ways you can go about approaching a community engagement project. I agree with @LifeLearner's comment on narrowing down your interests rather than list them. I urge people to steer away from things that they've heard of before since admissions committees will probably have as well--unless they truly do believe that it's what they want to do.

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Does anyone have any advice on how to use positive language within their proposal to work around a semi controversial topic ? I want to research and study the positive conservation projects going on in Indonesia but deforestation is pretty controversial in the country and I don't want to rub the country committee the wrong way or send any red flags. I have specially stated in my proposal that I intend to highlight positive conservation to promote hope, and encourage community engagement blah blah blah but not sure if that alone is enough. Any suggestions ?

 

Also do any of you use any online grammar websites for writing like grammarly ? any other online editors out there you love or suggest ? 

Hope ya'll are working through your proposals smoothly ! 

 

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On 8/11/2016 at 0:11 PM, Photogeographic said:

Does anyone have any advice on how to use positive language within their proposal to work around a semi controversial topic ? I want to research and study the positive conservation projects going on in Indonesia but deforestation is pretty controversial in the country and I don't want to rub the country committee the wrong way or send any red flags. I have specially stated in my proposal that I intend to highlight positive conservation to promote hope, and encourage community engagement blah blah blah but not sure if that alone is enough. Any suggestions ?

 

Also do any of you use any online grammar websites for writing like grammarly ? any other online editors out there you love or suggest ? 

Hope ya'll are working through your proposals smoothly ! 

 

im doing a proposal for China with a somewhat controversial topic (honestly just about any topic will be controversial in China) but the advice I was told was to frame it in a way that emphasizes that these issues aren't singular to China. How is this relevant to both the US and the country you are proposing research for. You don't want to appear in your writing as an "American Savior" that's not our job nor place. Fulbright is meant to promote cross cultural understanding between the us and the rest of the world the research project is nothing more than a vehicle to accomplish thay. Also I was told not to focus so much on what the country has done wrong in the past and more on ways to improve the situation. I hope this makes sense for you😁

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On 8/11/2016 at 0:11 PM, Photogeographic said:

Does anyone have any advice on how to use positive language within their proposal to work around a semi controversial topic ? I want to research and study the positive conservation projects going on in Indonesia but deforestation is pretty controversial in the country and I don't want to rub the country committee the wrong way or send any red flags. I have specially stated in my proposal that I intend to highlight positive conservation to promote hope, and encourage community engagement blah blah blah but not sure if that alone is enough. Any suggestions ?

 

Also do any of you use any online grammar websites for writing like grammarly ? any other online editors out there you love or suggest ? 

Hope ya'll are working through your proposals smoothly ! 

 

One thing I tell people is that if you are going to right something critical, you frame it as aid. "By looking at X, I can aid future policies regarding X." And also as building upon something. "Current policies focus on X. This study builds upon that foundational work by looking at Y, so that we may revise Z policies after we've gathered more information." Things like that tend to make it look like you respect (and know) what has been done, but that you want to use your particular skills to assist, rather than control, reform.

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On 8/13/2016 at 8:01 AM, Horb said:

One thing I tell people is that if you are going to right something critical, you frame it as aid. "By looking at X, I can aid future policies regarding X." And also as building upon something. "Current policies focus on X. This study builds upon that foundational work by looking at Y, so that we may revise Z policies after we've gathered more information." Things like that tend to make it look like you respect (and know) what has been done, but that you want to use your particular skills to assist, rather than control, reform.

:D Thank you ! 

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On 8/12/2016 at 3:40 PM, hobakie said:

im doing a proposal for China with a somewhat controversial topic (honestly just about any topic will be controversial in China) but the advice I was told was to frame it in a way that emphasizes that these issues aren't singular to China. How is this relevant to both the US and the country you are proposing research for. You don't want to appear in your writing as an "American Savior" that's not our job nor place. Fulbright is meant to promote cross cultural understanding between the us and the rest of the world the research project is nothing more than a vehicle to accomplish thay. Also I was told not to focus so much on what the country has done wrong in the past and more on ways to improve the situation. I hope this makes sense for you😁

This is also really helpful !!!! 

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Hey all! So we are in the home stretch! How is everyone doing? 

I finally have my letters sorted and my language eval done and my essays are almost done to. I'm so happy it is almost over and that I'll have free time, but waiting will also kill me, I fear.

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Hey all!

Looking for some opinions here. I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer in a Sub-Saharan African country and I'm applying for an ETA position in Senegal. My University's internal deadline for Fulbright is September 15. However, I've also been offered a really cool third year position in my Peace Corps country that would begin in August 2017. So, I have to decide between the ETA position and the third year PC position for 2017-2018. I'm wondering if I should take the PC position and nix my ETA application until next year, or send in my ETA application, see what feedback I get, and then decide (based on a rejection or acceptance) whether to take the ETA position or third year Peace Corps position.

At what point does my Fulbright application become 'solid,' as in, I can't withdraw it and reapply next year? If I get accepted to Fulbright and then decline the invite will I be unable to reapply in the future?

Thanks!

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On 8/24/2016 at 0:15 PM, eledwa01 said:

Hey all!

Looking for some opinions here. I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer in a Sub-Saharan African country and I'm applying for an ETA position in Senegal. My University's internal deadline for Fulbright is September 15. However, I've also been offered a really cool third year position in my Peace Corps country that would begin in August 2017. So, I have to decide between the ETA position and the third year PC position for 2017-2018. I'm wondering if I should take the PC position and nix my ETA application until next year, or send in my ETA application, see what feedback I get, and then decide (based on a rejection or acceptance) whether to take the ETA position or third year Peace Corps position.

At what point does my Fulbright application become 'solid,' as in, I can't withdraw it and reapply next year? If I get accepted to Fulbright and then decline the invite will I be unable to reapply in the future?

Thanks!

You can ALWAYS reapply. You could get the award, say nah, and reapply. They do not hold it against you (I think partly because some people don't hear back until June and we have lives). There's a different selection committee each year, so it is highly unlikely you'd have the exact same readers and/or that they'd remember you. That said, if you do get it one year, it is entirely possible you won't the next year. You could be up against stronger applicants or have a committee that didn't love your essays like the previous one did. 

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1 hour ago, Photogeographic said:

Does anyone know if there are any negative implications of applying "At-Large" instead of applying through a University ? 

First, you should make sure you're allowed to apply at large. There are a few restrictions.

Second, the main drawback is that you do not get advice from the selection committee of your home institution. You also don't have them fill out a page 10, which is essentially another recommendation form catering to particular questions the Fulbright is interested in (feasibility, ambassadorial potential, etc.). It doesn't mean you are less likely to get it, just because you're At-Large, but candidates applying through their Unis generally have more resources.

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@hobakie As you're applying to China as well – have you done your language evaluation yet? I'm a bit nervous because I haven't taken Chinese formally in college (I speak Mandarin at home with my parents and went to Chinese school when I was younger). :unsure: I'm not sure how to express that although my writing and reading skills are a bit rusty, I can quickly sharpen them in the year before I would possibly go to China.

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4 hours ago, cardinalowl said:

@hobakie As you're applying to China as well – have you done your language evaluation yet? I'm a bit nervous because I haven't taken Chinese formally in college (I speak Mandarin at home with my parents and went to Chinese school when I was younger). :unsure: I'm not sure how to express that although my writing and reading skills are a bit rusty, I can quickly sharpen them in the year before I would possibly go to China.

I did so very recently :D aside for letting your evaluator know your situation there are short answers on the self language evaluation forms where they specifically ask you about weaknesses and plans to fix them. I'm in the same boat essentially (although I am not a native speaker) since my reading and writing are significantly weaker than my speaking and listening but I plan to self study as well as apply for the critical language enhancement award for the summer term. As for the essays I just framed it in a way that made sure to touch on the fact that I knew Chinese well ,but still required and was open to further language training.

Edited by hobakie

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13 hours ago, hobakie said:

I did so very recently :D aside for letting your evaluator know your situation there are short answers on the self language evaluation forms where they specifically ask you about weaknesses and plans to fix them. I'm in the same boat essentially (although I am not a native speaker) since my reading and writing are significantly weaker than my speaking and listening but I plan to self study as well as apply for the critical language enhancement award for the summer term. As for the essays I just framed it in a way that made sure to touch on the fact that I knew Chinese well ,but still required and was open to further language training.

Hope it went well! I feel a bit better after reading the ACTFL proficiency guidelines for language evaluators – an intermediate level of Chinese writing isn't too complicated at all! It's good to know that they don't expect me to be able to write at the same level that I can speak (I currently have trouble with spoken homonyms). I guess I'm in a less straightforward position because I sound fluent but my vocabulary is lacking in certain areas. Good luck with your application :) I can't believe final decisions for China don't come out until late April!

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