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  • Writer's pictureAlan Buck

Background

Explaining what a Fulbright is and how it ties in with Eswatini.

Now that I am here, I have to remind myself that I am actually here to do work, and I started that yesterday with my first group of meetings. The purpose of those meetings, and those of the next week or so, are the reason I am here.


The Fulbright Program is the United States government's international and education exchange program, partnering with 160 countries worldwide and run by the U.S. Department of State. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, and include 60 Nobel Prize recipients, 88 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 37 current or former heads of state or government. Under that umbrella are a few programs, but the one I am attached with is the Fulbright Specialist Program. That program allows U.S. faculty and professionals the opportunity to serve as experts abroad for a short period of time. Being that I have an extensive background in media and am a faculty member teaching it, I was a good candidate to apply to the program.


Acceptance into the program does not automatically mean a pairing with an institution, however, it only means you will be placed on a roster. When an institution abroad apply to the program and their needs match my expertise, I can then apply for a specific project. Once again, applying to a project does not guarantee a pairing. Both parties have to agree to be a fit.


I was fortunate that Department of Mass Communication at The University of Eswatini was in need of a Fulbright Specialist, and they chose me from all the applications. Like all similar departments everywhere, they are dealing with trying to keep up with advance technologies and skill sets in a very modern field. They are wanting to tweak and update their curriculum, perhaps introducing more hand-on community based teaching.


While I met what was basically the Executive Leadership Team of the University yesterday, who were incredibly gracious and welcoming, today was my first time meeting with faculty specific members. I had the true pleasure of spending time this morning with some of the faculty from the Department of Mass Communication in their studio lab. It was truly a wonderful meeting and it left me feeling grateful for this opportunity. I truly think a lot of good will come of this program, and I look forward to the rest of my time here. #Fulbright #WorldOfLearning

To learn more about the history of the Fulbright Program, visit the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange website.


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