Keeping Your Mind and Options Open: Rhodes and Fulbright

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By Debbie Lechtman > Sophomore > Magazine Journalism > Syracuse University, Photo by Catherine Finsness > Sophomore > Psychology > The George Washington University
Every semester, thousands of college undergrads from all over the United States decide to pack their bags and take a couple of courses abroad. Many consider it an invaluable opportunity and their only chance to ever experience what it is like to live in Rome, Sydney, Beijing or Buenos Aires, to name a few.

 "[I] just want to experience something completely different,” says Kelcie Schofield, a freshman at Syracuse University, “And if I don’t take advantage of the opportunities like that, I’ll regret it.”
What many college students don’t know is that they can continue their education abroad after graduation. The following is a quick overview of two of the most popular and respected programs in the world.
The Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program, founded in 1945, is an exchange program that brings international students to the US and takes Americans all over the world. Fulbright not only offers grants to students, but also to scholars, teachers and other professionals. 
Miriam Aranoff says that she first heard about the Fulbright Program when she was an undergrad at Barnard College. She decided to apply two summers after graduation and spent 2009-2010 living, working and learning in Cairo, Egypt.
Aranoff, who majored in Middle Eastern studies, says she visited Israel eight or nine times prior to the start of her grant but had never been to any neighboring country. “[The Fulbright Grant] gave me an opportunity to gain a perspective of Israel and Palestine from another country in the region,” she says. “[It] definitely narrowed my professional aims. I am now applying for graduate studies in city planning. In Egypt, I worked on the planning and preservation of al-Qarafa, Cairo’s historic inhabited cemetery.”
The Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarships, founded in 1902, are the oldest international fellowships that bring students from all around the globe to the prestigious University of Oxford in Oxford, England. The majority of American Rhodes Scholars pursue master’s degrees, but doctorates have become more and more common.
After Abigail Seldin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, she applied to be a Rhodes Scholar and received a scholarship. She is currently pursuing her DPhil, which stands for Doctor of Philosophy and is the Oxford equivalent to a PhD, in social anthropology and says that she has enjoyed living in England. “Oxford is a magical place,” she says, “I can’t say I enjoy the weather, but the community of people is very special.”

College Magazine Staff

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