…that one other positive thing about the regime change in Libya is that there will now be new Fulbright FLTAs from that country from now on. The year 2009/10 was the first time that anyone from Afghanistan was admitted into the FLTA program in a long time. A new day will hopefully lead to more understanding and better relation with these parts of the world.
teaching. lanugage. travel
Every time I start believing that I am sufficiently removed from my Fulbright experience to return to my anonymous student life, I get requests like this from readers like Darsh who want to know more about the FLTA experience in the United States. I’ve once written about what to expect in a one-year trip away from home, but here are a few more. As soon as you have passed the initial stages of being selected at your local country consulate, you are almost on your way to the United States.
1. How much is the monthly stipend? A: In 2009/2010, it was a little over $1000 per month. I hear that it also depends on where in the US you’re posted to. If you are on the coast, you get a lot more (but then spend a lot more as well for food, and rent).
2. Is the stipend ever sufficient? A: Yes. With very prudent use, you would usually spend about half of the whole stipend monthly on food, housing and books. At the very worst case scenario, you would still be able to save about $300 every month.
3. Can relatives visit me from home? A: Technically, they can, but that is not what the program is about, so it is not encouraged. Believe me, the last thing you want is carrying the home baggage with you. But then, it’s up to you.
4. Can I date my students? A: No. Bad idea.
5. Can I date other students on campus? A: Yes.
6. If any of the people I date at #5 ever become my student in another semester, what should I do? A: I have no idea. But the fact that you know that such scenario is possible should make you re-think #5. You’ll find very many opportunities to meet other new people.
7. Will I need a mobile phone? A: Yes, but you don’t have to bring it along from your country.
8. Will I need a car? A: Not usually. You’d be able to get by without one on most campuses. Many FLTAs however often apply for, and obtain, a driver’s licence before they leave the US. It could be a worthwhile endeavour.
9. How cold is a cold weather? A: Very cold. If you have never seen snow before, chances are you will start needing to buy winter clothes and boots as soon as late October. Right now, it is 6 degrees Celsius.
10. Can I stay in the US after the program? A: No. There is a mandatory “return policy” which you’d sign on your way in. As soon as you’re done, you are required to head home first, before you do anything else.
to be continued…
I received a spirited email yesterday from someone who had found this blog through search for resources and tips about the Fulbright programme. Here’s an excerpt:
Hey blog folks.
How are you doing?
I have missed you. Well, I haven’t technically left, so what exactly could that mean? In any case, I have actually been enjoying my time here at home. And that’s why you haven’t heard too many complaints.
There are no mosquitoes here. (I think that Lagos has patented their presence ) Heat is bearable, sometimes. But yesterday while it was about 85 degrees Fahrenheit here in Ibadan, I heard that it was almost 90 in Edwardsville. See? I can’t complain. I still miss it though. Edwardsville, I mean.
Now however, I have just found out that I now have more time on my hands than I originally bargained for. No classes to teach in the morning/afternoon. No Chris to hang out with in the evenings, or Catherine to disturb in the department. No youtube videos to make, and no bicycles to ride. Well, I still have that stack of outstanding translation works to do. But that’s too boring. What else should I do with this time?
All comments welcome!
And have a nice week.
PS: On June 3, I will be speaking to a group of new departing Fulbright FLTAs at the US Consulate in Lagos. I’ve been invited as a “resource person” by the Consulate. I wonder if what I can tell those nervous grantees about the experience can ever be exhaustive at a three hour lunch meeting. But try I will.
My friend, blog contributor, and fellow FLTA Folake from Fayetteville (note the alliteration ) talks to the Voice of America, here.