Category Archives: Research

Fulbright US Student Program 2019-2020

The Fulbright 2019-20 US student program is open! Please see https://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/getting-started

Through this program, recent graduates can researchstudy or teach abroad.  There are over 2,200 awards available for 2019-20, an increased number of English Teaching Assistant (ETA) placements and an increase in Master’s degree program placements.

If you have graduated (undergraduate or graduate study), or will graduate by spring 2019, you can apply. To help you get started, please review the archived information sessions available at  https://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/information-sessions

Chatham’s on campus Fulbright application deadline is September 10, 2018.  Please see the below timeline and checklist for further information.

April 2018:

Online application opens.  View awards by clicking on specific countries at http://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/regions

April-May 2018:

  • Thoroughly read Fulbright website
  • Review differences between ETA (English Teaching Assistant) grants and Research/Study grants
  • Research your country and Fulbright commission (either grant). Carefully consider the profile of countries. Keep up with current events in the country.
  • Research your topic if you are applying for a Research grant; discuss your research topic with your academic advisor and department for ideas and input.
  • Begin networking and start looking for affiliations (names and universities) if you are applying for a Research grant. Make initial outreach to university abroad.  If you are unsure about how to approach universities, request assistance from your academic advisor, department and/or Fulbright Program Advisors (FPAs)
  • Work on your language proficiency (register for summer classes and/or self-study)
  • Look for opportunities to strengthen your candidacy. Become a language partner for the English Language Program.
  • Be in touch with FPAs to schedule advising appointments.

Summer 2018

  • Update your CV/resume
  • Start drafting statements for application
  • Fill out your personal details on the application
  • Start looking for language reference writers; continue language study
  • Think about your recommenders and reach out to them.
  • Follow up contact with the university abroad as necessary, secure affiliation letter
  • Request university/college transcripts (unofficial is okay) from all schools attended in US and abroad
  • Share first drafts of your essays with FPAs by July 16 (or earlier)

 August 15, 2018, Deadline to share revised draft statements with FPAs /Fellowship committee for feedback before campus deadline

September 10, 2018, Campus Deadline.  You must submit final drafts of your statements at this time and list your recommenders, language, etc.

September 17-21, 2018 On campus interviews with Fellowship committee. (exact days/times TBD). Campus committee evaluation completed.  (FPAs upload form to Embark system).

Applicants will be able to make additional revisions to application post-interview.

October 9, 2018, 5 pm EST.  Online application system closes at 5:00 P.M. EST.

Late January 2019. Finalists announced.

March-May 2019. Fulbright winners announced by country.

If you are interested in applying for a Fulbright grant, and for support in the application process, please get in touch with Karin Chipman, kchipman@chatham.edu or Chris Musick, cmusick@chatham.edu.

Supporting International Student Success: Five Research-Based Recommendations

Linh Phung, English Language Program Director

Debra Wolf, Associate Professor of Nursing

International students studying abroad in the United States have been found to face numerous challenges, including linguistic, academic, social, and cultural challenges (Kuo, 2011, 2013; Wang, Andre, and Greenwood, 2015). While linguistic barriers have been well-documented, there is limited research exploring challenges associated with specific language skills and academic assignments. To better understand what challenges Chatham international graduate students faced with the English language, the strategies they used to overcome challenges, and what support services they found helpful, a mix-methods study was conducted to explore these areas.

Preliminary findings revealed that students found writing and listening the most difficult because of the linguistic demands of the writing and listening tasks and their unfamiliarity with the academic writing style. Reading was found the least challenging because of their prior exposure to reading and the time they could spend reading independently using various resources. Perceptions of speaking were mixed as speaking tasks and situations varied. Interestingly, speaking was found to be a source of quite a few mixed emotions: anxiety, shame, embarrassment, and also satisfaction and joy.

Strategies used to address the challenges varied. Notably, their use of social strategies (consulting peers, tutors, and professors) increased over time. Participants found many of the services offered at Chatham (English workshops, tutoring, and conversation hours) very useful, but recommended more speaking opportunities for future international students.

Based on the preliminary findings, the following recommendations are offered to support successful international programs and further improve student experiences.

  1. Organize opportunities for students to communicate with students from the U.S. These opportunities will not only help them improve their spoken English, but also contribute to positive feelings of success, satisfaction, and joy.
  2. Formalize opportunities to have ESL instruction as well as ESL and academic tutoring to develop students’ academic English skills and assist them with academic assignments during their first few weeks or first semester.
  3. When lecturing or talking to international students and non-native speakers, instructors, staff, and locals should consider the listening difficulties and the feelings of inadequacy that these students might have as a result of lack of understanding. We recommend speaking slowly and in short sentences/phrases so they can comprehend thoughts being communicated. Be patient and check comprehension before extending the conversation.
  4. Faculty should explain assignments, grading rubrics, and expectations clearly and explicitly with examples. What is clear to local students may not be clear to international students.
  5. Studying abroad in a cohort has its own advantages as the students have access to a supportive network of peers in their studies as well as in their daily life. Just as important is social support from faculty and university staff. Together with this support, students’ use of social strategies will assist in their transition to a new culture, a different academic environment, and life in a foreign country.