Fulbright Alum Helps Islamabad Street Kids Find a Better Future

LettuceBee kids meet with Shelby Means of bluegrass band Della Mae in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 2012. [Photograph by Robert Raines, U.S. Embassy Islamabad/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Jennifer McAndrew serves at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Jawaid is a four-year-old trash picker. He wants to be a tree when he grows up.

At least, that’s what he tells his teacher during an art class sponsored by the LettuceBee Kids project in Islamabad, Pakistan.

“But you are not a tree,” the teacher tells him. “If you don’t like where you are, you can move.”

That’s the idea behind the LettuceBee initiative, which helps street kids like Jawaid move beyond a life of begging and trash picking, and re-integrate back into society through art, music, and mentorship.

The brainchild of Sarah Adeel, a Fulbright alumna and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the idea for LettuceBee Kids came about when she was in Pakistan in 2008 conducting research for her master’s thesis on child welfare in South Asia.

“I was doing a comparative analysis between orphanages and foster-care… more »

Back to School…Anywhere in the World!

Fulbright Students, who are now studying in the United States, gather in Denver, Colorado for the Fulbright Enrichment Seminar on Greening of the Planet. The seminar took place Feb. 24-27, 2011, and was one of 9 Fulbright Foreign Student seminars hosted across the United States during the year.  [Photo by Fulbright student Lucien Bourjeily/ Photo Courtesy of the Fulbright Program]

About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer in the United States. If they haven’t already done so, students all across our country are heading back to school this week. And for more than 270,000 of them, this school year will also be the start of a whole other adventure — studying abroad!

If you want to understand another country and its culture, institutions, and languages, there’s no substitute for living there, whether for a few weeks, a semester, a year, or longer. The friendships that these experiences foster are life-changing, and they form the basis of our country’s international relationships for years to come. Students with that experience are more confident and better prepared to engage globally. Studying abroad also enriches the campuses and communities around you.

In short, study abroad expands your world: new insights, places, and people… more »

Citizen Diplomacy as Public Service: The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Fulbright Public Policy Fellows in the U.S. Department of State Treaty Room, Washington, D.C., August 14, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Tara D. Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

In eight countries around the world, 20 young Americans will soon be assuming new work spaces in cabinet-level ministries. They’ll barely have time to thumb tack photos of their loved ones on the walls before getting down to work with their new colleagues.

What is that work? The real and everyday challenges those governments face in Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Thailand, and Tunisia. And what brings these committed young men and women to these posts? They are the first members of a fellowship program — sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs — that seeks to build mutual understanding and strengthen the… more »

Fulbright ‘From Lab to Market’ Seminars Tackle Global Health and Energy Challenges

In this May 17, 2012 photo, the Space Needle is seen through the walls and ceiling of the Glasshouse, featuring a 100-foot suspended, 1,340-piece sculpture, during a preview of the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at the Seattle Center in Seattle. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Heidi Manley serves as the Special Projects Officer in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Fulbright Program’s From Lab to Market enrichment seminars incubate global innovation, and the 2012 installments were no exception! 

In May, more than 135 Fulbrighters from the developing world met in Boston, MA and Seattle, WA to examine the global challenges of public health, and energy and the environment through the lenses of scientific research and social entrepreneurship - in other words, moving ideas from “lab to market.” Participating Fulbright Foreign Students are graduate students at colleges and universities across the United States, studying science, technology, and other relevant fields.

I attended the Boston seminar, which focused on global… more »

Seeing Fulbright in Action in Amman, Jordan

Screenshot of the Fulbright Program in Jordan website, as seen on May 7, 2012. [Image Courtesy of the Fulbright Program, 2008]

About the Author: Marianne Craven serves as Managing Director for Academic Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

A few weeks ago, Fulbright Program administrators from across the Middle East and North Africa convened in Jordan with their U.S.-based colleagues for a dynamic three-day workshop. The Binational Fulbright Commission in Jordan, led by Executive Director Alain McNamara and supported by the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, hosted us.

Together with representatives from regional Fulbright Commissions, U.S. embassies and non-governmental partners, we reviewed academic exchange priorities, shared information and best practices, and addressed issues and challenges faced by theFulbright Program… more »

German-American Fulbright Program at 60

American Fulbright grantees gather to discuss experiences and share best practices in Berlin, Germany, March 19, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the German-American Fulbright Program — one of the largest Fulbright Programs in the world. From March 18-21, the German-American Fulbright Commission held its annual Berlin Seminar and celebrated the program’s success alongside the government of Germany and the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. Organizers and attendees recognized the Fulbright Program’s decades of achievements and its growing network of 40,000 alumni.

The 2012 Berlin Seminar brought together 250 American Fulbright grantees… more »

Fulbright and Academic Exchange Programs in China

School children bundled up in winter clothing inside their classroom at a school in a Beijing suburb, China, Nov. 12, 2009. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Marianne Craven serves as Managing Director of Academic Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Last month, I traveled to Beijing and Xi’an with Matt McMahon, the Fulbright Chief for East Asia. It was the first time I had been to China, and I was excited to see firsthand Fulbright and other Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs exchange programs at work. Overall, we shared an informative and enlightening week with insightful and generous hosts, and we’re proud of the work that ECA and its program participants are doing there.

We arrived in a snowy Beijing and met with officials from the Chinese Ministry of Education and later representatives from Hanban, a Teachers of Critical Languages Program partner. With the upcoming Consultation… more »

Study Abroad Can Change Your Life—And Your Country

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli holds a roundtable discussion on educational exchanges in the Americas at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., March 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

I am living proof of how study abroad can change your life. I came from Mexico to the United States as a Fulbright graduate student. That led to — in addition to a master’s degree — falling in love, getting married, becoming a U.S. citizen, campaigning in the 2008 presidential election, and ultimately being chosen to lead public diplomacy for the Western Hemisphere at the U.S. Department of State.

Although most people realize that study abroad can change an individual’s life, they often don’t recognize how important international exchanges can be as a contribution to relations between our countries. Study abroad enhances our understanding of other cultures, provides an enlightening perspective on our home country, and builds partnerships that foster progress toward greater prosperity, economic equality, and sustainability. Recognizing the importance of international… more »

Fulbright Forward for the 21st Century
Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board members and Asst. Secretary Stock, May 2011. [State Dept]

About the Author: Anita McBride serves as Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She is a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council and is Executive in Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University’s School of Public Affairs.

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which I chair, recently held its 251st quarterly meeting in Washington, D.C. Established by Congress and appointed by the President of the United States, the 12-member bipartisan Board supervises the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program, sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Sweeping societal and technological changes have transformed the world since 1946 when Senator Fulbright championed the Fulbright… more »

Deputy Secretary Nides Meets Fulbright Scholarship Alumni in Pakistan

Deputy Secretary Nides with exchange program alumni in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 14, 2011.

About the Author: Alberto Rodriguez serves as Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides met yesterday with outstanding alumni of U.S.-sponsored academic exchange programs in Islamabad, Pakistan. At the event, hosted by the U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan, Deputy Secretary Nides spoke with alumni of Fulbright programs and the Community College Initiative

The alumni recounted their positive experiences in the United States and also gave their opinions about the overall U.S.-Pakistani relationship. They shared ideas on how Americans and Pakistanis can deepen mutual understanding, agreeing that more needed to be done on both sides.

"To see so many impressive Pakistani… more »