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The Zen of Fulbright: The Unofficial Guide to Making the Most of Your U.S. Fulbright Scholarship Paperback – June 10, 2014
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I would caution students against relying too heavily on the sample essays, some of which are a bit dated at this point. Sample essays are rather controversial and should be taken with a grain of salt; one never knows whether an applicant was selected for a Fulbright because of a great essay or in spite of a mediocre one.
As a Fulbright alumni, it is refreshing and uplifting to read about the many other stories of my colleagues. I keep a copy next to my desk, and open it when I need a little encouragement. After reading the Zen of Fulbright, I feel even more apart of the Fulbright community and am inspired to pay forward my Fulbright experience. I highly recommend this book to Fulbright scholars from all walks of life.
I happened on this book as the author is a friend, so I am positively pre-disposed, but with this disclosure, I am really happy to recommend this book to those who want to study abroad.
I have experience working with Fulbright and other scholars, as I ran a research organization in the Caucasus for 6+ years, where over the years we hosted 20+ researchers. I wish I had had this book then, to recommend to people that were staying with us as fellows. It gives excellent advice on a broad number of topics, from practical suggestions on how to apply for such fellowships, to how to deal with things in country, how to to leave, and then how to continue engagement.
What I particularly liked in the book are the many testimonials from people that have been on that Fellowship. They share their very practical advice. In my experience, the key to success in such ventures is to come in with the right expectations, so that you get off to a great start. This book, drawing on the generous input of many Fulbrighters who have gone through the program, will help you do that.
1. The Big Picture - How Fulbright works
2. The Habits of Successful Fulbrighters - With dozens of perspectives from real Fulbrighters
3. What You Should Know About Fulbright Before You Apply - Thorough preparation strategy
4. Building Your Fulbright Application - How to make yours strong
5. On the Eve of Departure - Preparing and managing expectations
6. Life in the Field - Making the most of your service
7. Life After Fulbright - Returning, careers and more
In addition, in every section, there are dozens of stories and lengthy quotes from Fulbrighters in the sidebars which give great context to the content in every section. This, along with sample application essays, gives you a full perspective on the program in a way I've never seen before.
This is the guide I wish I would have had when I was applying for the Fulbright Program. You're so lucky to have it available to you.