RIT hosts international scholars for Fulbright Gateway Orientation

RIT was one of eight universities nationwide chosen to welcome Fulbright scholars this year




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Peggy Tirrell

RIT welcomed 77 Fulbright scholars from 39 countries to its campus for a Fulbright Gateway Orientation program from July 30 to Aug. 3.

Rochester Institute of Technology welcomed 77 Fulbright scholars from 39 countries to its campus for a Fulbright Gateway Orientation program from July 30 to Aug. 3. RIT was one of eight universities nationwide selected by the Institute for International Education (IIE) to host the program.

The Fulbright Gateway Orientation Program is a benefit made available to foreign Fulbright student grantees arriving in the United States. It is intended to address the participants’ roles and responsibilities as Fulbright scholars and develop skills for successful academic and professional lives in the U.S.

“This is really the scholars’ first welcome into the U.S. when they attend these Gateways,” said Daamiah Dratsky, a student adviser for the IIE. “We want them to feel more prepared before they go to the university, get a better idea about U.S. life culturally and academically.”

During the Gateway Orientation, RIT faculty and staff helped bring the Fulbright scholars up to speed on topics including intercultural communication, American academic culture and U.S. politics. The participants also had an opportunity to explore RIT’s campus and regional attractions such as Niagara Falls and ARTISANworks.

The Gateway Orientation at RIT provided the participants with a crucial transition period before embarking on their research, according to Fulbright scholar Iva Nedelcheva, Ph.D. student at Sofia University in Bulgaria. She will serve as a visiting researcher for the next six months at Pratt Institute, focusing on digital storytelling and online news content.

“I think it’s a really great idea to have this orientation because we’ve been immersed in the culture of higher education, U.S. customs and everyday duties,” said Nedelcheva. “I felt more than welcomed; I felt at home. Everybody’s amazing, the professors and the staff. We were at the library and they gave us some invaluable insight on how to search for resources at our libraries where we go.”

Following the Fulbright Gateway Orientation program at RIT, the participants departed for their assignments at universities across the country. This year, RIT will host 22 Fulbright scholars from around the globe.

The RIT Fulbright Gateway Orientation was collaboratively organized by the Office of International Education and Global Programs, Office of Graduate and Part Time Enrollment, Office of International Student Services, Multicultural Center for Academic Success, and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

This activity is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. For more information, visit http://eca.state.gov/Fulbright.

This activity is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).