Evan Gaj, ’16, spends his days researching drones in Warsaw, Poland.
His research is made possible by the Fulbright program, an exchange program that allows students to conduct research or teach English abroad in more than 150 countries.
Gaj said the program, which sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is designed to increase mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and other countries.
“The Fulbright program’s main goal is to promote cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding between participants, and those countries and cultures they interact with,” Gaj said. “To me, this is what separates the program from others.”
The Fulbright is one of several fellowship opportunities available to students seeking to continue their educations abroad. Last year, Lehigh’s Office of Fellowship Advising and the Office of International Affairs teamed up to help students seek out and apply for these programs.
Jenny Hyest, the assistant director of fellowship advising and U.N. programs in the Office of International Affairs , led several informational sessions about the scholarships and programs available to qualified Lehigh students.
During the session on April 16, Hyest described three specific scholarships in depth — the Marshall, the Rhodes and the Gates Cambridge.
Though the awards differ, the applications share common requirements, such as a minimum 3.7 GPA and a personal statement. Hyest said the personal statement is the key component for any candidate.
“The kind of self-reflection analysis that you need to do to be successful for these awards is the same kind of self-reflection analysis you need to do to apply to grad school,” Hyest said.
The Marshall Scholarship is a grant opportunity for two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom. The application requires a personal statement, four essays, an academic transcript, university endorsement and four letters of recommendation.
Klaudia Jazwinska, ’18, The Brown and White’s editor in chief, was awarded this scholarship — the first Lehigh student to receive the grant in 40 years.
The Rhodes Scholarship, a grant awarded to students interested in studying at the University of Oxford. This scholarship is considered extremely prestigious and focuses on the candidate’s character. Hyest said because of the application requirements, students are not permitted to receive any assistance from faculty throughout the process.
Gates Cambridge Scholarship is the only grant of the three for which international students are eligible. Interested candidates apply directly to the University of Cambridge with a 500-word essay.
Hyest said the Gates Cambridge has the most straightforward application process.
To aid with the application processes, Hyest sets deadlines to keep her students on track and helps them with interview preparation.
After attending the information session, Sofia Ramirez, ’20, thinks she will apply for one of the scholarships.
“I found the session very informative,” Ramirez said. “I was happy to hear that Lehigh is so helpful during the application process.”
To get an early start on the application process, Hyest and the fellowship advisers encourage eligible students to decide to apply by May 18.