April 5, 2024

Teaching Across Borders: My US exchange journey with Fulbright at Indiana University

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Yassine from Morocco 🇲🇦

Teaching Across Borders: My US exchange journey with Fulbright at Indiana University

Why I choose to be an exchange student 

My name is Yassine, and I am an English teacher at CPGE in Kenitra and the American Language Center in Rabat. I earned my master's degree in English Language and Culture Studies from Ibn Tofail University in 2009. Additionally, I had the opportunity to be a part of an American exchange program and attended classes at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, for a full semester.

As an English teacher, I sought a destination where I could further my understanding of language teaching and learn from the best practices. The USA, with its exceptional educational quality offered to international students by American universities, was the ideal choice for this purpose.

Today, we live in a world that requires global citizens. A global citizen is someone who can function in different cultures, be adaptable, and appreciate and value coexistence. Participating in such a cross-cultural experience is one of the best ways to acquire these skills. The greatest advantage of participating in a US exchange program is not only learning about and experiencing American culture but also, due to the diversity in the US, learning about various cultures in one place. Therefore, the USA is indeed the best place to explore the world.

The application process 

The application process is based on an inquiry project that every applicant has to present. It has to be an original educational project that will either benefit students, collegues, or the educational community.

This project is the most important part of the application process, but there are also other steps. First of all, you fill out a form, then if you pass the pre-selection you will have to take an English exam and if you get the required score, the next step is writing essays answering prompts that will be provided then, and the final round is the interview.

Student life & academics

Since the program is designed for educators, most of the classes that I attended at Indiana University Bloomington were in the school of education. I was also able to attend some film classes since my project involved different aspects of filming. Apart from that, I was also able to attend some high school classes to observe the methods of teaching, and occasionally I got to teach some classes as well, yet my main target was always to develop my project during my time in the States.

One of the best things about studying in the US is the high quality of education, facilities, and the resources available to every student.

The student body in the university was very diverse, as the university accepts over 25 000 students every year. Many of them are international students, resulting in very rich and diverse classes, presenting the opportunity to meet students from all around the world and experience multiple cultures, and this cultural mix made it also really easy for me to blend in, and make friends, and also present my own culture. 

The university also had all kinds of activities available to students starting with a huge sport center that has every kind of sports that any student may want to be a part of, access to theaters and music concerts was easy, and with Indiana Bloomington being a college town, there were always all kinds of events and activities available to students all around the year.

Scholarship 

The program is fully funded by the US embassy and the Fulbright exchange Program, meaning that everything is covered from the plane tickets to the living accommodations in the States. In addition to that, you will also be able to apply for some funds to attend some conferences in the US.

I also want to highlight that the application is also free, so once the application period starts you can just click in and fill the form and follow the process, no fees involved.

Resources & Tips 

Personally, I believe in human resources as those kinds of programs has existed for many years now and surely many people from your country has participated in them, so my biggest advice would be to take advantage of that and just search for people from your country who participated in your desired program via Facebook or Instagram or any social media for that matter. Usually people who participated in those kinds of programs tend to be really open to share their experience with other aspiring applicants and a lot of the time you can get some really valuable information from a former participant that you can’t find online.

Also I would advise every applicant to take the tests seriously and prepare for them, whether it is the TOEFL or the SAT or any other test, they all need serious preparation even if you are good at the subject as in most cases the challenging part is the format of the exam and the timing and to get over those barriers you need preparation and practice.

And for the essays, my main advice is to be honest and authentic, and most importantly start ahead. The moment you get the prompts, start working on the essays, as you will need time to draft a good quality essay and then edit it to enhance it every time, and this is a really time consuming process so the sooner you start the better it is. And please avoid using AI at all costs because it can be easily detected, and if you get caught you will be blacklisted from that program or university. Also the main target from those essays is to show your true self, so don’t just copy paste samples from the internet, as it will most likely not align with the direction of your application and most importantly it wouldn’t represent your story. You can always get some inspiration from people who achieved your goal but always remember that we are all human beings and the admission officers wants to see you, your personality, and how passionate you are about the program, so just try to reflect your true vision on the essay.

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Yassine
from Morocco 🇲🇦

Duration of Study

Aug 2017 — Dec 2017

Master

Exchange Student: English studies

Learn more ->
Fulbright

Fulbright

US🇺🇸

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✍️ Interview by

interviewer image

Doha from Morocco 🇲🇦

High School Senior & Visual Storyteller

Learn more ->
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