Global Impact | Response Magazine

Fulbrights send four Seattle Pacific alumni abroad to study, teach

The Fulbright Commission awarded a record number of grants to Seattle Pacific University this year, sending four alumni on fully funded trips abroad to conduct research, study, and teach in pursuit of cultural exchange.

Award recipients included David Dovgopoly ’15, who traveled to Ukraine; Rachel Long ’18, who traveled to Kyrgyzstan; Abby Jensen ’18, who traveled to Jordan; and Rachel Weeks ’16, who traveled to Laos.

Weeks, Long, and Jensen are in their respective countries as English teaching assistants, working in local schools to supplement English teaching instruction. In late summer, they traveled to their host countries to settle in and explore their new surroundings before beginning instruction.

Jensen was surprised by how easy it was to rent an apartment in Amman, Jordan. “You can see an ad for an apartment online or on the street and end up moving in the same day,” she said in an email.

“SPU’s culture works to balance career ambition with volunteering and building relationships with the local community. Fulbright is a great mix of these ideals” — Rachel Weeks

Long spent part of her first few weeks in Kyrgyzstan attending the World Nomad Games, where 82 countries competed in 37 sports at locations around the country. Sports included wrestling, archery, and er enish (traditional Kyrgyz horseback wrestling).

All three women said SPU’s programs and faculty helped them navigate the Fulbright application process successfully.

“SPU’s culture works to balance career ambition with volunteering and building relationships with the local community. Fulbright is a great mix of these ideals,” said Weeks in an email. “My friends and peers at the university were similarly career-oriented while focused on developing their passions towards helping others. Surrounding myself with friends who valued both was wonderfully influential for me and helped make Fulbright possible.”

This story originally appeared on page 15 of the autumn 2018 issue of Response with the headline, “Fulbright grantees explore abroad.”

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