Monday, October 26, 2015

Fulbright Grantees From Afghanistan Visit U of A

Image from article, with caption: Fulbright grantees from Afghanistan gather around the statue of J. William Fulbright in the Old Main courtyard.

The University of Arkansas hosted more than 60 U.S. Department of State-sponsored Fulbright Program participants from Afghanistan as part of a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar last week. The program helped increase their knowledge of U.S. academic life, culture and history.

Over 8,000 "Fulbrighters" from the United States and more than 160 countries are selected each year. Fulbrighters address critical priorities in all world areas while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States and the world.
The seminar was hosted by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and Spring International Language Center. Todd Shields, dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, was honored to host the students.
"Senator Fulbright demonstrated to the world the importance of international education and international exchange," he said. "Learning from these students, interacting with them and building relationships with them is a continuation of our college mission of 'Peace through Education.'"
All of the Fulbright Foreign Students from Afghanistan are enrolled in graduate study at universities across the United States. The students were in Fayetteville last week to attend a seminar on social movements in the United States.
During the seminar, the students attended thematic sessions focused on U.S. social movements, leadership sessions that highlighted the Fulbright tradition of leadership, and panel sessions centered on strategies for academic success. Additionally, U.S. Department of State representatives led a presentation on public diplomacy.
The participants interacted with current graduate students at the University of Arkansas, as well as members of the Northwest Arkansas community. Leaders from multiple Fayetteville-based religious institutions hosted an informational session on "Civil Rights and American Religious Institutions," and Lioneld Jordan, mayor of Fayetteville, spoke to the students about leadership and civic responsibility in social movements.
Leyah Bergman-Lanier, director of the Spring International Language Center, was delighted to have these scholars from Afghanistan at the University of Arkansas.
"It is a huge honor to have been selected to host these Fulbright grantees," she said. "Our primary goals were to provide them with strategies for success in their graduate programs, to ease their cultural adjustment and help them navigate their own cross-cultural journeys. We also provided an opportunity for them to network among their colleagues and empower them in their roles as leaders and change agents in their home communities. As a community, we in turn, had this amazing opportunity to learn about Afghanistan."
This activity was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international exchange program, supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. For more information, visit This activity was administered on behalf of the State Department by the Institute of International Education.
Leyah Bergman-Lanier, director
Spring International Language Center

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