The Fulbright Korea Program for the 2016-2017 grant year is officially underway, welcoming 110 English Teaching Assistants, 12 Junior Researchers, and 5 Graduate Study Award grantees. This year’s cohorts competes as the third largest number of grantees in program history, demonstrating Fulbright Korea’s continued acclaim as the “gold standard” within the Fulbright community.
The incoming ETAs completed a six-week orientation from July through mid-August, where they were immersed in Korean-language studies, cultural and teaching workshops, as well as weekend excursions to Seorak Mountain in Sokcho and Seoul. The purpose of this orientation is to prepare the incoming grantees for their future roles as classroom English teachers. The orientation program is led by the Orientation Committee Team, which is comprised of the ETA Program Coordinator as well as five to six previous ETAs who work together to plan and to execute relevant workshops, and to help assimilate the ETAs into their new environment, among other responsibilities.
The Junior Researchers and Graduate Study Award grantees begin their program a bit later, typically arriving to South Korea anywhere between mid-August to mid-September. The Junior Researchers are responsible for setting up their own projects with affiliated organizations or universities. They devote nine to twelve months gathering background information, conducting research, and analyzing and sharing results with their peers and colleagues. The Junior Researchers are also required to present at one Fulbright Forum throughout the year, allowing other Fulbright Korea grantees and community members to become briefly introduced to the researchers’ topics.
Graduate Study Awards are offered to academically superior students whose future career objectives would be enhanced by pursuing graduate study at a Korean university. Grantees in this category will enroll in a Master’s or Ph.D. program with the intention of obtaining an advanced degree from a Korean university. The Fulbright Commission provides the grantees with a small monthly stipend in addition to covering board and tuition fees.
As the grant year kicks off for the 2016 grantees, FKAR wishes them the best of luck and encourages them to make the most of their grant year. The FKAR Committee is looking forward to highlighting accomplishments from all areas throughout the year ahead.