Seventeen Bowdoin seniors, plus two graduates from the classes of 2015 and 2016, will travel to countries around the world — Japan, Germany, Peru, Sri Lanka, Spain, New Zealand, Malaysia, Switzerland, South Africa, India, Mexico, China, and Brazil — to either pursue research or teach English.
These Bowdoin students have been offered awards through the US Department of State’s Fulbright Program, which was established in 1948 to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people from other countries. Fourteen will work as English teaching assistants, and five will pursue research.
A notable trend in this group of Fulbright recipients, and in years past, is the high number planning to teach or pursue research in either Germany or Austria. This year there are seven traveling to Germany.
Between 2006 and 2016, almost 40 percent of Bowdoin’s Fulbright students were German majors or minors. Professor of German Birgit Tautz said she thought this was partly due to past successes of Fulbright students coming out of her department. “They have great role models to follow,” she noted. “The reputation of their predecessors makes them excellent candidates in the eyes of German partners.”
In addition, Tautz said the students are desirable candidates in a highly competitive pool because of the advising they receive from Bowdoin’s Student Fellowship and Research office, and from the training many of them receive as teaching assistants, tutors, or graders for Bowdoin faculty.
Director of Student Fellowships and Research Cindy Stocks also credited the German department for educating its students early about the Fulbright Program. “Students applying to Germany almost always tell me that they first heard about Fulbright as a first year,” she commented.
Stocks added that she believes Bowdoin students are appealing candidates because many of them have had prior fellowship experiences through Bowdoin’s many grant programs that support either internships or research opportunities.
Read about the Fulbright students’ plans by mousing over their photos. Go here to see a list of the students and their destinations.
Graphics and photos courtesy of The Bowdoin Orient