By Brian Riley
Patricia Mygas, a senior double major in art therapy and psychology, has made it halfway through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program application process, and is one step closer to going to Malaysia. Mygas has applied for the Fulbright teaching grant. She has already been recommended by the Fulbright committee, which includes a number faculty members, and is now waiting on approval from the country.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide, according to its website. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries that students have an option of choosing from. Mygas has chosen to teach in Malaysia, where she will have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents, if approved. She applied for the grant in September 2015, and will be notified by April.
Mygas applied for the grant because she believes, “The Fulbright program gives individuals opportunities to not only see the world, but to actively engage in it.” She thinks that this will give her an opportunity unobtainable otherwise, not just the teaching aspect, but living in a completely different environment. Mygas is hopeful to add this experience to her resume on her way to graduate school for at therapy and counseling.
Over the last decade, Post has sent at least two students to the program, according to Glynis Pereyra, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Pereyra, along with Administrative Assistant Joan Ruckel, are Post’s resident advisors for the Fulbright. They are available to help advice students, and properly prepare for successful applications. LIU receives a range from zero to four applicants every year.
The grant covers living expenses, health, and travel to the host country, which can be adjusted based on the cost of living in the country.
To be considered for a grant, students are recommended to have a GPA of 3.5 and well-rounded experience. This can include hands-on experience outside of the classroom in their field. In addition, letters of recommendation and past travel history will help to build a solid application.
Although Mygas has applied for the teaching grant, the Fulbright offers other opportunities as well. There is a study grant which covers tuition for a master’s degree in a foreign country. Another option
is the Fulbright-Mtv-U award, which allows applicants to research and then produce their own film or project. Currently, applications for the Fulbright-mtv-u award are not being accepted, but will re-open for the 2016-17 academic year, according to us.fulbrightonline.org.
On Jan. 26, Pereyra and Ruckel held an information session to inform students of the Fulbright opportunity. Approximately 20 students attended. Next information session will be held in Kahn, room 121 at 12:30 p.m. on March 24. Students of all majors are welcome to attend.