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The Daily Wildcat

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Program brightens chances to go abroad

James Worthington standing infront of the TU Freiberg Library in Freigberg, Germany. Worthington is currently studying there on a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grant for 10-months doing a project on thermochronology and geochronology. (Photograph by James Worthington)

The first information session on the Fulbright Scholar Program was launched by the UA’s Office of Global Initiatives, the Graduate College, Social & Behavioral Sciences Research Institute and the Honors College on Friday in a week-long promotion of the scholarship.

Emily Kotay, a scholarship adviser at the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships, said Fulbright Week is meant to “promote the various … programs for students and faculty to go abroad to study [and] conduct research.”

Kotay said the ONCS wants the UA community to be aware of the opportunities available through the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The ONCS monitors the application process for the U.S. Student Programs at the UA, Kotay said.

“The campus deadline will be next fall,” she added. “However, if students are interested in applying, they should get started this semester working on their applications.”

Last year, the UA’s Fulbright program received 45 applications with 10 awardees; only nine accepted the award and are currently abroad, Kotay said. She added that UA students tend to gravitate to countries in Latin America, but western Europe is one of the most popular and competitive places to go to.

James Worthington, a geology graduate student, was one of the students awarded with a Fulbright fellowship this year. Worthington is currently in Freiburg, Germany, working with a research group that he’s been collaborating with for the past few years.

“I’m working in a lab conducting radiometric dating … of rock samples that I collected in the field to constrain the timing and rates of tectonic processes that formed the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan,” Worthington said.

The Fulbright program offers students the opportunity to do either an English Teaching Assistantship or a study/research grant and also brings international students and faculty to the UA, Kotay said.

Worthington explained that the application process required many steps to be completed, and he stated, “Kotay was a huge help with all of this at every step along the way — I wouldn’t be here without her.”

Additionally, Worthington had the opportunity to visit the Czech Republic, Poland and France. He is planning to take part in a geology research field trip to Croatia and Bosnia in the near future.

“Traveling and seeing new places has probably slowed my research down a bit, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and totally worth it,” he said. 

In May 2016, Worthington plans on finishing his doctorate degree once he returns from Germany. He described his plans as “work hard, play hard; explore, meet lots of people and learn.”

Worthington added that “traveling is a temporary and transient phenomenon” where you partly assimilate into a culture, helping to “reevaluate the culture you come from with a fresh perspective.”

The Fulbright Week program is set to hold an information session at the Slonaker House today from 2-3 p.m.


Follow Terrie Brianna on Twitter.

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