After graduating from UD with a degree in three foreign languages, Rebecca Pedersen spent 2018 with the Teaching Assistance Program in France (TAPIF). This fall Pedersen will embark on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to the Republic of Georgia.
“At several points in my life, I was given the opportunity to live
in, become a part of and learn about unique cultures, and I am compelled
to pass that forward,” she said, adding that Fulbright is the next, but
not last, step in her journey to creating connections between people of
the U.S. and other countries. Pedersen hopes to later fulfill her
dreams of a career in the foreign service.
Like Medlock and Pacitti, Christian Pirhalla was also awarded an
English Teaching Assistantship to Brazil. “Receiving my acceptance email
was incredible,” Pirhalla said. “I’d spent about a year working on my
application and it felt like all that time and dedication finally paid
After graduating in December with a degree in Spanish studies, Pirhalla began working with Wilmington’s Latin American Community Center, an experience he said has been both rewarding and relevant.
“While my students will be different, I’m doing something very
similar to what I will be doing on my Fulbright in Brazil,” he said.
“Right now, I work mostly with adult migrants who want to learn the
language so that they can communicate, get jobs and access public
Outside of the classroom, Pirhalla plans to seek a local community of fellow musicians in Brazil.
In addition to UD’s seven Fulbright grantees, four were named alternates:
Camilo Cardenas to Japan,
Sharon Hollenbach to South Korea,
Rosemarie Maholage to Germany, and
Olivia Rogal to the Czech Republic.
For Future Fulbrighters
The application for the 2020-21 Fulbright competition is now open.
For those interested in applying for a Fulbright award, Pirhalla
advised, “All it costs you is time. Think about your experiences in life
and where you might be most needed. Then, just go for it.”
Jusczak added that it’s important for applicants to leverage all of
their networks. “Reach out to as many people as you can,” she said.
“There is a Romania study abroad program at UD for graduate students and
one of my acquaintances participated. She was able to connect me with a
few Romanian students who really helped me understand what the culture
Others, like Campbell and Medlock, applied multiple times and
recommended persistence. “All hope isn’t lost if you aren’t successful
on your first try,” said Campbell. “You will have opportunities that
will better position you in the future. Apply again.”
Learn more about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program by visiting the Institute for Global Studies website.
About the Institute for Global Studies
The Institute for Global Studies
(IGS) was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of
teaching, research and outreach at the University of Delaware. IGS
provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that
contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens
of the world.
Best known for coordinating the University’s study abroad program,
IGS also awards scholarships and grants to faculty and students for a
number of global opportunities, and administers
internationally-recognized State Department-sponsored programs such as
the UD Fulbright Initiative, Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)
Student Leaders Institute, Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for
Young African Leaders, and most recently the Study of the U.S.
Institutes for Student Leaders on Women’s Leadership (SUSI-WL) program.
IGS sponsors such signature events as Global Month each fall and the Fulbright Lecture Series each spring.
IGS collaborates with other global partners on campus, including the
Office for International Students and Scholars, the Confucius Institute
and the Center for Global and Area Studies. In addition, IGS partners
with Enrollment Management to coordinate the UD World Scholars Program.
Article and photos by Nikki Laws
Published June 24, 2019