Our Intensive English Institute (IEI) is proud to have hosted a cohort of 2021 Fulbright Program scholars at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Commemorating 75+ years of engagement, The Fulbright Program is the flagship international exchange experience designed and championed by the U.S. Department of State to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries."
The Fulbright Program and the university have a long-standing history and tradition of international exchange. According to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is among the top institutions that produced Fulbright Award recipients in 2020-2021.
At the IEI, our faculty members have strengthened and furthered this intercultural dialogue at the university since 1967. Recently re-accredited for 10 years by The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), IEI provides carefully designed curricula every semester to help international students improve their English language proficiency. For Fulbrighters participating in IEI coursework, this experience involves a variety of social, cultural, and recreational co-curricular activities, in addition to rigorous academic coursework. Since 2017, over two dozen Fulbright students from more than 15 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East have studied at IEI to advance their academic and professional goals.
In their own words, five Fulbrighters share their multifaceted experiences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: collaborating with IEI faculty, living in Champaign-Urbana, and building a better, more connected world.
Area of Study: MS in Environmental Science at the University of South Florida
"I saw a tremendous amount of support from my IEI teachers. They are aware of the challenges that international students are going through. They helped me a lot in the beginning, which is very impressive."
Area of Study: My interest areas are survey methodology and social epidemiology. I will complete a Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
“I am very proud to be a Fulbrighter. We are representatives of an international Program based on diversity and inclusion. The Fulbright Program has allowed me to collaborate with people from other disciplines and develop interdisciplinary work.”
Area of Study: Masters of Law (Criminal Law) at the University of Illinois College of Law
“Upon completing my Master’s Degree of Law (LLM-Criminal Law) at the University of Illinois, my plans are to use my LLM degree to improve the efficiency in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems in Malawi and also act as legal and security advisor to the government on the issues of internal security and law. In addition, I intend to engage in pro-bono services in the US and beyond to represent those who have little access to legal representation (legal defense) in a court of law. Finally, I plan to assist in the development and implementation of informed policies, and policing strategies that can be used to fight crimes and prevent criminal behaviors in society.”
Area of Study: Law (LLM); Master's degree at the University of Minnesota Law School. I will be focusing on international law and human rights. I want to fight for women's rights in Central Asia.
“I was mostly surprised with two things:
1) How people are friendly here. Whatever you ask, they will share their time with you and help you.
2) Despite the fact that Urbana and Champaign are two small towns, they have many interesting spots where you can spend your time. I found different places with delicious food, quiet places to relax or study. Moreover, there are many beautiful green zones.
Spending time with the IEI faculty and staff, you are exploring yourself again. All the teachers and staff help you adapt to the local circumstances. Teachers and staff are not only your academic contacts, but they are also your friends."
Area of Study: Master's degree in quantitative economics at Western Illinois University
"My favorite class was the grammar class. I took this class for two semesters because I wanted to improve my grammar when speaking and writing. My experience in this class was excellent; Joy [Howard] was an outstanding teacher.
Being part of this long-standing international exchange program means two main things for me. First, I am a part of the future generation of leaders in the world. Second, I have this opportunity to experiment with different aspects of life and develop other skills to practice my leadership."