This summer, Nebraska’s Programs in English as a Second Language will host up to 25 international scholars as they prepare to begin their academic degree programs through the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program.
The pre-academic program, administered by the Institute of International Education, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of its flagship Fulbright Program. From July 10 to Aug. 7, Fulbright scholars will spend four weeks at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln developing their English language skills and learning about American higher education and culture before departing to begin their graduate degree program at institutions across the United States.
“We are thrilled to welcome scholars back for this program after a two-year pause caused by the pandemic,” said Chris Dunsmore, director of Programs in English as a Second Language. “This is a great opportunity for our faculty and staff to engage with these highly gifted students and build new relationships. The cultural exchange that takes place truly benefits both sides, and we have kept in touch with many of the former participants over the years.”
In addition to oral communication and writing classes taught by PIESL, the Fulbright scholars will be introduced to current issues in U.S. society and develop an understanding of American social values for successful intercultural communication in their host communities. The program will feature presentations by various Nebraska faculty and staff, with topics ranging from time management and computer skills to classroom culture and navigating the U.S. media.
Scholars will also have a chance to connect with current graduate students and other faculty in their area of study.
“Hosting this program allows us to not only leverage the expertise of our PIESL team in making scholars comfortable with their English language skills before starting their degree, but taps into expertise across the university,” added Dunsmore. “We’re also excited to connect the UNL community with the scholars through cultural exchange opportunities like our graduate student panel and hosting dinner.”
As part of the program’s goals to expose the Fulbright scholars to American culture, the PIESL team is seeking faculty and staff volunteers to host two or three scholars for dinner at their home (including transportation from campus) between July 15 and August 4. While it helps the visiting scholars acclimate to the U.S., the exchange also helps host families learn about other cultures.