A Sense of Purpose and Place
For 101 international scholars, the 2013 Fulbright year begins here
by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
August 15, 2013
Fulbrighters who attended the first 2013 orientation session volunteer at a nearby food bank, Project S.H.A.R.E.
Every year, some of the world’s brightest and best students live in the United States as foreign Fulbright scholars. And this month, 101 international scholars representing 39 countries will launch their distinguished careers on Dickinson soil.
Dickinson is hosting the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Gateway Orientation, a weeklong program that helps new Fulbright scholars build skills and contacts they’ll need to be successful international scholars. Thirty-nine Fulbrighters attended the first orientation session (Aug. 5-9) and 62 took part in the second (Aug. 12-16).
“We were entrusted with two programs this year because of our success [as Gateway host] last year,” says Brian Brubaker, acting director of the Center for Global Study & Engagement, noting that the college’s global focus and strong global-studies program, its central, small-town location and its success in managing State Department-funded visitor programs distinguish Dickinson as an optimal Fulbright orientation site.
Receiving and giving
Throughout the week, the scholars lived on campus and participated in intensive workshops on the U.S. academic system and culture, U.S. politics and people, the Fulbrighter’s role and resources, cross-cultural communication and leadership skill-building. They also met local and college leaders, toured the Dickinson College Farm and nearby Gettysburg and volunteered at a local food bank, Project S.H.A.R.E.
According to Education Abroad Program Associate Marlee Meikrantz ’10, the social, cultural and networking events help the new Fulbrighters gain a sense of place in their new
host country and build the strong academic, social and professional network they'll need to be successful in the coming year. The volunteer opportunity opens their eyes to the needs that exist even in the world's wealthiest countries—and some of the ways they can give back to the communities in which they'll live.
“We are honored to host such an incredible group of young leaders who
will surely go on to do great things," Meikrantz adds.