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Bringing the World Closer Together Through Education

Synonymous with international education, the Fulbright Program has provided students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds the opportunity to study, teach, exchange ideas, and find solutions to complex local and global challenges for 75 years.

Serving as leaders across the globe, Fulbrighters educate and internationalize their communities in the classroom and on college and university campuses, preparing students for the future.

Broadening Minds in the Classroom

Fulbrighters in the classroom improve educational outcomes and foster a lifelong love of learning. English Teaching Assistants (ETA) teach English abroad and Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) introduce their native languages to U.S. classrooms. Dedicated teachers hone their craft through study and research on Fulbright Student and Scholar Program awards, and return home with cutting-edge pedagogical ideas to improve education in the classroom.

Kimberly Muth
Kimberly Muth, a 2018 Fulbright U.S. Student ETA to Czech Republic, interacts with her students.

Fulbrighters in the classroom improve educational outcomes and foster a lifelong love of learning. English Teaching Assistants (ETA) teach English abroad and Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) introduce their native languages to U.S. classrooms. Dedicated teachers hone their craft through study and research on Fulbright Student and Scholar Program awards, and return home with cutting-edge pedagogical ideas to improve education in the classroom.

According to a survey of Fulbright U.S. Scholars from 2005-2015, 62% adapted more inclusive teaching practices in their work, and 13% had new teaching methodologies implemented across their home institution after their Fulbright experience. Samuel Isaiah, a 2019 Fulbright Foreign Student to SUNY Albany, is a primary school teacher of underserved Orang Asli (Indigenous) students in Pahang, Malaysia. Due to his efforts, his students’ test scores have drastically improved from a pass rate of 30% (2008-2012) to an average of 80% (2013-2017) on national English standardized examinations. He has been recognized with the 2018 “Best Innovative Teacher” award by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the 2019 “National Hero Teacher” award, and is a Top 10 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize. Isaiah will continue to inspire and nurture Malaysian students with the knowledge gained from his Fulbright experience earning a Master’s degree from SUNY Albany in Educational Policy and Leadership.

Samuel Isaiah
Isaiah (center) with his students in Pahang, Malaysia.

Fulbright educators also infuse real-world issues into curricula to uniquely inform and inspire students. Jennifer Chavez-Miller, a 2014 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching educator to Finland, studied Finland’s focus on equality and uniformity in primary school education, connecting with local teachers, students, and education leaders. An eighth-grade teacher in New Mexico who prioritizes building knowledge through relevant and exciting projects, Chavez-Miller took her students on hiking, camping, and backpacking expeditions in New Mexico to inspire stewardship of the planet through a National Geographic Society-funded project: Vamos Explorar: Conserving and Protecting New Mexico’s Wild Places. She received the National Geographic Gilbert M. Grosvenor Educator of the Year award for exceptional achievement in igniting curiosity and cultural understanding in students through exploration, science, and conservation, and is a member of the National Geographic Teacher Advisory Council.

Internationalizing Higher Education

The Fulbright Program and its alumni bolster higher education internationalization initiatives and improve access and equity in education. By sending U.S. faculty and students abroad to uncover new perspectives, and internationalizing U.S. campuses by hosting visiting students and scholars, the Fulbright Program expands institutional global reach.

These opportunities in turn build support for, and access to, international education. Indeed, transformed by their experience, 85% of Fulbright scholars encouraged their students to study abroad, and 51% of scholars advocated for hosting scholars at their home institution, resulting in more than 4,800 visiting scholars over 10 years. Theon Gruber Ford, a 2019 Fulbright U.S. International Education Administrator (IEA) awardee to Germany, learned about Germany’s education system and established networks of U.S. and international colleagues. Now, as the Program Manager for Honors and Scholar Development at Howard University, she encourages students to study abroad and engage with Fulbright.

Fulbrighters who study, teach, or conduct research overseas through the Fulbright Program enrich their education and, upon their return, introduce new ideas in their home country. Nermin Abadan-Unat, a 1952 Fulbright Foreign Student at the University of Minnesota, is a renowned Turkish professor, lawyer, and former senator studying immigration, women’s rights, and mass communications. Widely credited with introducing Turkey to the concept of “public opinion,” she received the 2012 Vehbi Koç Award for her contributions to education. She represented Turkey on the Committee of Equality of Women and Men at the Council of Europe, and has worked internationally as a guest professor at the University of Munich, the City University of New York, the University of Denver, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Fulbrighters use the training and knowledge they have gained to advocate for educational equity and access for all communities. As the first woman to serve as President of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and a 2016 TIME 100 honoree, Dr. Diana Natalicio, a 1961 Fulbright U.S. Student to Brazil, prioritized creating a student population that reflected the diversity of El Paso’s community. From 1988 to 1998, she helped to increase the Hispanic student population from 50% to 66%. During Dr. Natalicio’s 31-year tenure as president, UTEP’s enrollment has grown from 15,000 to nearly 24,000 students who reflect the demographics of the surrounding Paso del Norte region.

Diana Natalicio
Dr. Diana Natalicio stands on the seal of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the institution she has led for over 30 years.

Dr. Walter Massey, a 1996 Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer to South Africa, has been committed to racial and social equity and access in science and technology education. As a professor at Brown University, he developed and directed the Inner-City Teachers of Science (INCTOS) program, which paired undergraduate students in science education with urban high school science classes. As director of the National Science Foundation, he focused on research infrastructure and enhancing pre-college science education, emphasizing the necessity of women and minority groups in the field. Dr. Massey has also served as president and chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2010, the president of Morehouse College, the senior vice-president and provost of the University of California System, and as a physicist and chairman of the board overseeing the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope.

Walter Massey
Dr. Walter Massey has championed inclusion in STEM fields during his distinguished and varied career.

Dr. Sandye Jean McIntyre II, a 1951 Fulbright U.S. Student to France and professor of French at Morgan State University, served as a Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) for 55 years. An inspirational teacher who loved talking about his Fulbright experiences and their lifelong benefits, he helped Morgan State become a Fulbright Top Producing Institution and HBCU Institutional Leader. As an international educator, Dr. McIntyre also received Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards to Israel, Senegal, Mali, the Gambia, and Liberia. For his distinguished service to universities and education, he was named a Knight and Officer of the Ordre des Palmes académiques of the French Republic.

Carleen Leggett and Christian Kameni
Dr. Carleen Leggett (left), Morgan State University’s current Fulbright Program Director, and Christian Kameni (right), a 2013 Fulbright U.S. Student ETA to France, with a portrait of Dr. Sandye McIntyre II on campus.

These inspiring Fulbrighters are just a few of the many dynamic and creative alumni who have drawn from the knowledge and experiences they gained while living and working among their Fulbright host communities to broaden their teaching methods, internationalize their institutions, expand equity and inclusion in education, and prepare their students and institutions for a more interconnected world.