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Fulbright New Zealand Quarterly August 2011

Volume 17, Number 3, August 2011
ISSN 1177-7885 (online)

Executive Director addresses FSB meeting
Fulbright New Zealand’s Executive Director Mele Wendt addressed a meeting of the Fulbright programme’s governing Fulbright Foreign Scholarships Board (FSB) in Washington, DC in June, the first time in her six years as Executive Director that she had been able to do so.

Mele told the FSB meeting, chaired by Anita McBride, that bilateral relations between New Zealand and the United States are at their best in the past 25 years, and that strong university linkages exist between the two countries. With regards to the Fulbright programme in New Zealand, she noted that New Zealand government funding slightly exceeds US government funding. She said that although fundraising is challenging in the current economic environment, Fulbright New Zealand has a large number of hyphenated (co-sponsored) awards in its programme. She reported that Fulbright outreach around New Zealand has now grown to visiting over 30 campuses, and includes strategies to promote the programme to Māori and Pacific people. | read the full story online

Grantee Voice: Kyle Rosenblad - Fulbright opens door to the global community
Kyle Rosenblad from Shelburne, Vermont was the first of 2011’s nine Fulbright US Graduate Students to arrive in New Zealand last summer, in order to begin field research into the effects of exotic plant species on native flora. Kyle is the only one of this year’s US students based in Canterbury (at Lincoln University), and after February’s earthquake was quick to join other students in the region in cleaning up affected homes as part of the Student Volunteer Army. Here, he reports on his exchange experience to date.

The smells of earth and effluent hung in the stuffy air. Shovels squelched through a blanket of wet, gray silt. As I hauled another wheelbarrow-full past the sunken patio, an elderly gentleman emerged from the door bearing ginger ale. “You volunteers are just amazing! Would anyone like a drink? Terribly sorry it’s not cold – bloody quake’s cut the power.”

I balked. Surely he wasn’t apologizing for the vagaries of plate tectonics. My astonishment grew when he mentioned that this was his last bottle of drinkable liquid, as the earthquake had disrupted the water supply. I heard my cohorts politely decline his offer, encouraging him to save the precious hydration. I followed suit. As we returned to shoveling and intermittent chitchat, the gentleman sat on the patio and joined our conversation. The topic quickly turned to how lucky we each felt in the wake of the disaster. After hearing some stories, I could hardly believe what passed for “lucky”. | read the full story online

Alumni Voice: Saeeda Verrall - Fulbright opens door to the global community
Saeeda Verrall received a 2007 Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Award to complete an LLM in international human rights and criminal justice at Harvard University. She has squeezed extensive overseas experience into the few years since her graduation, and plans to move to Nepal in the future to further her voluntary work with a Himalayan NGO.

Almost five years ago I submitted my Fulbright application and nervously awaited the outcome. Like most of my contemporaries, I could never have undertaken graduate study in the US without financial assistance, and in that respect, nothing would have been possible without Fulbright. However, the value of the Fulbright cannot be measured in quantitative terms. It is not simply an “award” but the beginning of a journey. For me, the Fulbright was a catalyst – a launching pad – that ultimately led to even more rewarding and enriching experiences after my studies. | read the full story online


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