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Fulbright Program Offers Faculty Opportunity for Cultural ‘Immersion’

Thinking about “broadening” your teaching experience? Read what Fulbrighter Donald E. Hall says in “ Why Professors Should Teach Abroad ,” an article in the latest Chronicle of Higher Education. ” Just as students abroad benefit most from a total immersion in cultural difference and the unpredictable, so too do faculty members stand to gain more from teaching at a different institution, with different students, in circumstances outside their academic comfort zone,” says Hall, whose trips ranged from two weeks to two years.

Hall encourages other faculty to experience this fulfilling opportunity. ” The Fulbright, a highly coveted and competitive award program, is the one major opportunity that exists now, sending more than 900 faculty members abroad annually to teach and conduct research,” Hall says.

For more than 50 years, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars has helped administer the Fulbright Scholar Program, the federal government’s flagship academic exchange effort, on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Founded in 1947, CIES a private organization is a division of the Institute of International Education. It maintains deep ties with the U.S. higher-education community, including individual universities and colleges and major scholarly organizations.CIES also works with a network of binational Fulbright Commissions in 50 countries and 90 U.S. diplomatic posts around the world, as well as international universities and higher-education associations.

Some Fulbright Scholar grants for the 2008-09 academic year still are available. Penn College faculty members should check available grants and consult the program officer before applying.

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