The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. This unique exchange program is designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries. During their grants, Fulbright students participate in a cultural exchange as they live with and learn from their host communities. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 160 countries and annually offers over 2,000 grants.
View the Fulbright Grantee Directory for a comprehensive list of scholars. The UW is proud to have scholars as far back as 1949!
Definitions of Fulbright Statuses
Fulbright Semi-Finalist: applicants who are recommended by the National Screening Committee to the host country for further review.
Fulbright Alternate: applicants who may be offered a Fulbright grant if additional funding becomes available.
Fulbright Finalist: applicants who have been offered a grant, but have not yet accepted their award and started their program.
Fulbright Student: official Fulbright grant recipients after offer has been accepted.
2018 – 2019 UW Undergraduate Candidates for the 2019-20 Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Azelle Bahadory – Scholar, India, English Teaching Assistant
Senior, International Studies major, Linguistics minor
I am a former Navy Linguist who is driven by the pursuit of knowledge and intercultural cooperation. I am fluent in Dari and Levantine Arabic, with an elementary proficiency in Hindi/Urdu. I have four years of experience in Army intelligence and spent one year teaching English in Afghanistan. I hope to channel the skills developed in my previous experience into a career in international diplomacy. Arabic and Farsi chose me, but Hindi is the first language that I’ve chosen of my own volition. India stands out to me for its unique role as one of the world’s top innovators, and I aspire to get to know the nation that has so deftly captured the hearts of billions of foreigners through the appeal of its cultural diplomacy. It is a country that is ancient and ambitious, and in its coexistence of so many integrated cultures it is an endless source of discovery for a future diplomat. The opportunity to serve under a Fulbright Grant in India would be an immense challenge, a learning opportunity, and a springboard onto my intended path of improving US-India relations through the facilitation of intercultural understanding.
Azelle’s tip: Ask for feedback from everyone around you, especially the scholarship advisors! In order to build a strong application, you have to get a feel for how the evaluators will see it. That means gathering as many different perspectives as possible.
Hana Bloedel – Scholar, Estonia, English Teaching Assistant
Senior, UW Bothell
Hana Bloedel has been selected for a U.S. Student Fulbright grant to Estonia, where she will serve as an English Teaching Assistant. Hana completed her B.A. in Global Studies and Society, Ethics & Human Behavior, with a minor in Human Rights, in June 2018. During her time at UW Bothell, she studied abroad in London, participated in the D.C. Human Rights Seminar, and was involved in community-based courses.
After graduation she went on the Minidoka Pilgrimage to Jerome County, Idaho, to visit the site where her grandmother was incarcerated during World War II. She has since been working as a Student Success Coach with City Year Seattle through the AmeriCorps program, supporting elementary students in their growth in both social and emotional learning, and in ELA.
Hana’s tip: Believe that you can do it, think about it in advance, get advice/help with the writing process from multiple people, be genuine, do your research.
Rachel Fricke – Scholar, Germany, Research
Senior, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences and Environmental Studies major, Quantitative Science minor
Rachel is broadly interested in the impacts of human manipulation of freshwater ecosystems via introduction of non-native species and altered flow regimes, and conservation approaches to these effects. She first forayed into freshwater ecology as a field technician quantifying the intermediate host dispersal of waterborne parasites in the Senegal River basin and has since expanded on this work by conducting a study on the influence of environmental variables on the success of common liver fluke, a prevalent parasite that infects humans and livestock around the globe. Her current research examines spatial patterns in angler movement derived from new fishing technologies and smartphone applications with the intention of identifying frequently-traveled pathways between lakes and reservoirs, a common vector for invasive species.
These experiences have defined Rachel’s commitment to a world in which freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services are appreciated by all. She was motivated to apply for a Fulbright academic grant after recognizing the pivotal role anglers play in effectively managing freshwater systems. The grant would fund her proposal to study the effectiveness of lake restoration efforts spearheaded by angling clubs in Lower Saxony, Germany and ultimately inform angler-driven fish conservation practices throughout Europe. Rachel has long been connected to Germany through language – she studied German for thirteen years as a child – and the Fulbright program offers an unparalleled opportunity to synthesize her scientific and cultural interests.
Rachel’s long-term plans include graduate studies in aquatic ecology, after which she intends to pursue a career in ecological research working either in academia or for a federal resource agency. In her spare time she enjoys skiing, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, and playing the ukulele in one of the Seattle’s many green spaces.
Rachel’s tip: Incorporate edits and suggestions from the on-campus interview committee into your final essay submissions – they’re very familiar with Fulbright’s evaluation criteria and have valuable insight to offer!
Hannah Hampson – Scholar, Chile, Research
Class of 2018, Civil and Environmental Engineering major
Hannah is a Civil and Environmental Engineering recent graduate applying for a Fulbright research experience in Chile. There, she hopes to test our ability to model water resources in a range of diverse climates that Chile holds. She plans on accomplishing this through applying a hydrologic and meteorological based model to three separate watersheds in the arid north, the heavily populated central region, and the pristine south. This research would be carried out through collaboration with La Católica University in Santiago. Hannah developed an interest in merging her studies in hydrology with her interest in South America after studying abroad in Chile for a semester, and partaking in undergraduate mountain hydrology research at UW through the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. She plans on partaking in the grant at the beginning of her graduate studies starting next fall, with the end goal of utilizing her Fulbright grant to not only better predict water resources globally, but also develop international relationships benefiting the scientific communities in both the U.S. and Chile. She is excited to make it as a semi-finalist, and cannot wait to see if she makes it further and gets the opportunity to carry out research she’s passionate about in a country she’s grown to love.
Hannah’s tip: Focus on establishing relationships with great mentors early on in college that will be excellent leaders and resources for letters of recommendation for scholarship opportunities.
Lauren Hanna – Scholar, Kosovo, Research
Class of 2018, Public Health major
I was a Public Health major who focused in gender-based violence as it relates to women’s health. I interned with the Seattle City Domestic Violence Unit and became very interested in the ways that mental health plays a role in DV. Because I focused on post-conflict areas in school I thought it would be a perfect fit to combine my two main interests, and take a research approach to mental health as it applies to domestic violence in Kosovo. I hope to go back to school and either get my masters in public health or a graduate degree in sociology.
Lauren’s tip: Start early and don’t get discouraged!
Kevin Lam – Scholar, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant
Senior, International Studies and Dance major
I am a senior at the University of Washington studying International Studies and Dance. I am passionate about integrating my studies into community building. My training in gender studies, queer theory, and critical race theory from my time at the Jackson School developed my identity, values, and world perceptions. Dance is a creative outlet and platform for self-expression. On my free time I enjoy dance and improvisation in public spaces because I am present in my body and environment. I will my combine my interests in politics and arts into uplifiting the next generation of global leaders – the youth. As an educator for Americans Promoting Study Abroad and One World Now, I fostered student-centered learning environments in my classroom. I have facilitated leadership workshops for high school students from underserved backgrounds in the U.S. and abroad. I want to live in a society that gives underpriviliged students equal access to high quality education. In order to cultivate a successful democracy, we need to educate youth to make decisions with a critical lens as well as empower them to voice their opinions.
Kevin’s tip: Experiences outside of academia are invaluable. Time away from school provides insight into a well-rounded perspective on life. We are not just students, artists, athletes, professionals, etc., but, we are human beings and we should be more human.
Sarah Leibson – Scholar, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant
Senior, Asian Studies and Korean major, Chinese minor
If I have learned one thing over the course of my time at the University of Washington, it is to not rush things. When I returned to the university after my year and summer abroad at Seoul National University in September 2017, I soon realized that I did not give myself enough time to prepare for graduate school applications and many other programs. Instead, I applied for and was awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship to continue studying Korean for another year in Seoul, South Korea after I finished my fourth year at the University of Washington. Continuing my studies for the fifth year gave me the extra time and confidence boost to apply for the Fulbright ETA program in Taiwan. If I become a finalist for the program then I will be returning to Taiwan to teach English for the second time. The first time being on the 2013 AID Summer volunteer program which was a blast. I hope to return to Taiwan in August and put my now nine years of Mandarin language training to the test. I plan to keep up both my Mandarin and Korean skills and apply to graduate schools in my home state of California. My goal is to apply my language skills and cultural knowledge to a career as a Foreign Service Officer.
Sarah’s tip: Go to as many scholarship info sessions or workshops as it takes to motivate yourself to start the application early and review it a thousand times over.
Brandie Nordstrum – Scholar, Vietnam, English Teaching Assistant
Class of 2014, Medical Anthropology and Global Health major
I applied to become a Fulbright ETA with the aspiration to expand my world knowledge, in turn, achieving better reflective practices in my communication strategies and the actions that I take. This process for reflective considerations includes those taken within professional roles that I hold, such as decisions that I make as an instructor or as someone who is interacting within a new community. I maintain this overarching goal because I enjoy working with others, especially with perspectives and backgrounds different than my own and have learned more about its importance throughout my career so far. I am currently a coordinator of educational programming for newly arrived youth and in this role I focus on the development of study habits to help promote self-sufficiency and confidence growth in academics. While I thoroughly enjoyed and have learned a lot from my past in roles similar to this, I realize my limitations in developing collaborative process’ necessary for creating the most effective community engagement and to be a better collaborative ally. As an ETA helping with instruction and simultaneously learning within a new environment, I can move past these barriers.
This passion to continually learn from new perspectives has also drawn me in my more personal ventures to circus arts, which I have been practicing since 2014. With this experience, I have found that being introduced to new places/communities is pretty similar to learning a skill like aerial arts. At first it can be disorienting but with what you have learned you are able to see more clearly and to build upon your newfound skill-sets with more confidence. I am excited for the experience of learning new skills as an ETA within a new culture and excited to find how this opens my mind towards future endeavors.
Brandie’s tip: If you don’t get in the first time, don’t let that finalize anything. There is always the opportunity to try again.
Anika Patel – Scholar, Thailand, English Teaching Assistant
Class of 2017, Biochemistry and Interdisciplinary Honors
Growing up, I learned very quickly how to adapt to new environments as I spent much of my childhood traveling all over the world with my family. These experiences I had early on in my life played a significant role in the development of my deep appreciation for different cultures and diverse forms of communication. I extended this appreciation back home in Seattle by involving myself in various volunteering opportunities that allowed me to get to know the populations that made up my community, such as refugee immigrants, the homeless, and the elderly. Over time, I developed valuable longitudinal relationships with those I worked closely with, allowing me to gain an understanding of each population’s personal needs through the stories each chose to share with me.
As an aspiring physician, I have explored many facets of healthcare both as an undergraduate as well as after graduating, and it has become my passion to serve disadvantaged populations. My research, work, volunteering, and UW academic experiences thus far have shaped me into an individual committed towards improving access to vital resources, while empowering people to live sustainable lives. As a doctor I want to promote quality healthcare and improved outcomes for patients and society through research questions that are guided by civic engagement. Taking advantage of a Fulbright ETA in Thailand to use and build upon my cultural insights will continue to inform my passion for incorporating cultural awareness into patient care; and for building more equitable doctor-patient relationships so that I can better inform and empower my patients.
Currently in my gap year, I enjoy working at Ballard Swedish Hospital Emergency Department as a scribe. In my free time, I love to rock climb, play the harp, volunteer at a local nursing home, and teach English to refugee immigrants in Seattle.
Anika’s Tip: Start as soon as possible, earlier than you think you need to. UW has so many resources available for students, both in-person and online. I found it particularly helpful to periodically meet with UW’s Fulbright Advisors; they are very willing to meet with applicants and offer their advice.
Nola Peshkin – Scholar, Belgium, English Teaching Assistant
Senior, English major, French Language, Sociolinguistics & Translation minor
Language learning has been a passion and interest of mine since early childhood. While I grew up 15 minutes from UW, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend time traveling within Europe and practicing bilingual communication. This June I will graduate with a B.A. in English and a minor in French with college honors, and I hope to take my love for language to Belgium to teach English at the university level. Communication skills are a link that start with individuals but make a global impact in building empathy and global understanding.
Growing up, my family spent huge amounts of time playing in and around the mountains and natural areas of the Pacific Northwest, ultimately inspiring my passions for ecological conservation and appreciation of our wild spaces. Addressing large-scale issues like our environmental crises must be solved from an interdisciplinary standpoint, and I hope to translate my language and communication skills into a career in environmental education. Igniting students’ interest in ecology and helping them build sustainable habits into their daily lives is an important step towards instilling a preservation-focused mindset in future generations. I believe that pursuing a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship would help me take steps towards this goal by furthering my teaching skills and learning to effectively communicate across languages and cultural norms.
Currently at UW I’m completing coursework for the Interdisciplinary Honors program as well as English departmental honors. Throughout my four years I’ve been involved as a tutor with the Pipeline Project, a Peer Mentor for Honors 100, and an active member of the club ski racing team. Gaining experience in internships with Rick Steves’ Europe, SKI Magazine, and Hillel UW has helped me to gain invaluable writing and travel skills, and an unrelenting desire for adventure and new experiences.
Nola’s tip: Be yourself! Your quirks, passions, and unique interests all help you stand out in an authentic way, and help selection committees see the real you. Don’t be afraid to share what makes you special, because it might make you the best fit for the program!
Thomas Pham – Scholar, Turkey, English Teaching Assistant
Rodha Sheikh – Scholar, Malaysia, English Teaching Assistant
Senior, Law, Societies & Justice major
I am a 4th-year students at the UW studying Law, Societies, & Justice (LSJ). While learning about inequities within our criminal justice system, I found inequity within education to be a root issue and cause of those inequities. Because of this, I am passionate about the field of Education and am continuously exploring my role within it. Through Fulbright, I hope to familiarize myself with ways other countries are able to establish more successful and equitable systems of education in hopes of generating new ideas for U.S. public schools. I am also excited at the thought of participating in a cultural exchange program.
Rodha’s tip: Talk to Emily!!!
Maya Sullivan – Scholar, Oman, Research
Senior, Economics and International Studies major
Maya Sullivan is a senior hoping to apply her interdisciplinary studies to pursue a career in diplomacy. Growing up within a biracial family inspired her to seek opportunities to build bridges between cultures, rather than allow differences to tear people apart. Maya hopes to work in the international community in sustainable development, and is incredibly grateful for the great many doors the University of Washington, in particular the Jackson School, has opened for her to chase this path. Maya hopes that regardless of the specific sector of development she enters, that she will contribute to collaborative projects that highly involve the input of recipients.
Maya applied to the Fulbright research grant for the 2019-2020 cycle. The Fulbright research grant holds the potential for Maya to conduct independent economic research in Muscat, Oman, allowing her to understand more deeply the obstacles for economic diversification and development. Maya hopes to present policy recommendations based on her research for how best to achieve economic diversification in Oman. If she were lucky enough to be awarded the grant, Maya hopes to spend a year in Oman learning more about Arabic culture and language, in addition to its economy. Based on her experience after her Fulbright year, Maya hopes to either work for a development NGO or think tank for a couple years before pursuing a Master’s degree. In the long run, Maya aspires to have the opportunity to enter the public service and help continue to break down barriers for more women of color to enter roles of leadership in the government.
Maya’s tips: Start early, enroll in the online class for Global Fellowships, and work closely with the advisors! Emily was so helpful to me, even though I wasn’t able to meet in person.
Binh Truong – Scholar, Austria, Combined Grant
Senior, International Studies major
Binh is an immigrant from Vietnam majoring in International Studies with a focus on foreign policy, diplomacy, peace and security. Binh’s research interest is in communication between different political parties and the difference between policy and what happens on-the-ground. They are currently completing their Honor’s Thesis on political memes during political flash points. Other research projects includes a partnership between the Applied Research Program and Microsoft on threats to democratic processes.
Applying to the Fulbright Combined grant for ETA and Research is the best of both worlds as they can impact students’ learning while researching the impacts of social media on democracy and political organization of youths. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood nurtured a curiosity in different cultures and people which inspired them to become a Foreign Service Officer in Public Diplomacy. They seek to learn more about cross-cultural communication and exchange on the Fulbright Program. And of course, further developing themselves as someone that will represent America, as diverse a country as it is. When Binh is not researching or working, they can be found eating and/or reading. Binh is proud of their ability to do both simultaneously while walking.
Binh’s tips for future applicants:
Be clear in your intentions and focus of the Fulbright! Envision yourself there and ask why are you going? And more importantly, why does it matter?
Liliana Caracoza Lopez – Semi-Finalist, Spain
Senior, UW Tacoma
Rebecca Dickson – Semi-Finalist, Lithuania
Senior, UW Tacoma
Regan Gong – Semi-Finalist, Spain
Senior, International Studies: Comparative Religion and Psychology major
Regan is a senior studying Psychology and International Studies: Comparative Religion. She is an out-of-state student from Moraga, CA located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Professionally, Regan plans on attending graduate school to explore the impacts of social bias on policy creation. Her career goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer, inspired by her study abroad experience in Rome, Italy and internship with the Department of State in Nepal, Kathmandu. In addition, she is a part of the Social Policy and Identity Research Lab under the Evans School of Public Policy which has given her skills to research critical questions. During her four years, she has focused on mentoring her peers. As former Student Director for the Campus Visit Program, Orientation Leader, and Honors Peer Educator, Regan has helped create a more inclusive community. She enjoys collaborating with the UW community to create more dialogue about the role of religion has on politics and what it means for student identities in hopes of creating a more inclusive environment. Currently, Regan is planning an interfaith dialogue event called One of Many funded by the Husky Seed Fund. At the event, participants will listen to selected stories of how faith has impacted an individual’s student identity. Outside of UW, she works at REI in downtown Seattle. In addition, she enjoys running and yoga. The Fulbright grant that she applied for is at the University of Salamanca Master’s in International and Global Studies. Her focus area in the program would be Conflict Management and Nationalism, which fits her career goals and personal interests extremely well. Ultimately, Regan is sad to be leaving her community at UW but thankful for all the opportunities that have led her to this path.
Regan’s tip: Start early!!! The deadline is before UW starts which might make securing letters of recommendations difficult.
Nasri Isaac – Semi-Finalist, Turkey
Senior, UW Tacoma
Sara Mar – Semi-Finalist, Philippines
Class of 2017, Environmental Health major
Sara graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.S. in Environmental Health in 2017. During her last semester of college, Sara studied abroad in rural Thailand conducting community-based research. The opportunity to build relationships with local villagers cultivated Sara’s passion for hearing the stories and perspectives of other people. After spending another two months traveling abroad in Southeast Asia, Sara accepted a fellowship through CDC’s Public Health Associate Program (PHAP). She packed up her bags once more and moved to Columbus to work at the Ohio Department of Health. Sara works in both health preparedness and health equity to promote more targeted emergency response efforts and public health program interventions. In January 2019, Sara began a 60-day deployment to Charleston, West Virginia to assist the Hepatitis A outbreak response. Thus far, she has helped coordinate vaccine clinics at homeless shelters, faith-based organizations, and Medication-Assisted Treatment centers to get more than 600 people vaccinated.
The combination of traveling abroad, doing on-the-ground community work, and seeing the influence of federal and state policy on public health programs, motivated Sara to apply for a Fulbright research fellowship. Her proposed project would be conducted in the Philippines and focuses on the impact of a social welfare policy on access to health services. This research project grew from Sara’s desire to understand the “real-world” implications of health policy and work with local communities whose voices are not always heard. Sara also intends to obtain her Masters in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and will use this Fulbright opportunity to inform which area of public health she would like to pursue further. Ultimately, Sara hopes this Fulbright is a stepping stone on the path to a global health career where she can influence policy makers by better understanding how policy affects the lives of local communities.
Sara’s tip: Start the process early! There are a lot of components to the application and you want to give yourself enough time to go through several drafts and get feedback from your peers and mentors. Also, developing a research proposal with an organization overseas takes a lot of back and forth communication – so be patient and know that the extra time you put into it will only make your proposal stronger.
Sydney Ward – Semi-Finalist, Morocco
Senior, International Studies and Near Eastern Languages & Civilization major
Attitudes of the artists toward their handicrafts in Morocco have sparked my curiosity due to my own interest and experience in sewing and embroidery and my experiences in Morocco. Studying the women who create Morocco’s cultural textiles will help provide me with a better understanding of the challenges facing the industry with an increased importation of mass-produced textiles. These crafts form the basis for Morocco’s cultural heritage, and my project provides an opportunity to understand the source of the beloved Moroccan rugs: the women who weaved them.
I am particularly interested in Morocco because it is often excluded from dialogues about the Middle East and viewed as an outsider, both linguistically and culturally. Most research and scholarly interest are focused on the Levant or the Gulf and North Africa is undervalued. For this reason, I believe it is important to invest in researching aspects of Moroccan culture in hopes of bringing better understanding and focus to a country that is often overlooked in politics, research, and academia.
Afterward, I will return to the US and earn a graduate degree in International Relations with an area of specialization in the Middle East and North Africa. I hope to use these experiences to help bring mutual understanding to the region and continue my work in the US State Department or as a Foreign Service officer. A year in Morocco on the Fulbright Program will help me build a community in Morocco and build bridges between our two communities through civic engagement, curiosity, and respect for one another. My hope is for the blending of the future and tradition, and understanding the views of the women who work in textiles and for understanding how to preserve the ancient knowledge and traditions of embroidery and carpet weaving in Morocco.
Sydney’s tip: Start your application early and attend info sessions to learn more about the specifications of the application and get helpful tips!
History of UW Undergraduate Semifinalists, Alternates, Finalists, and Fulbrighters
2017 - 2018
2016 - 2017
2015 - 2016
2014 - 2015
2013 - 2014
2012 - 2013
2011 - 2012
2010 - 2011
2009 - 2010
2008 - 2009
2007 - 2008