What does being a Fulbright scholar mean to you?
Shi: What being a Fulbright ETA means to me is to become a part of the community that I’m placed in and to serve the community by teaching English. It’s to be engaged in a continual process of understanding how my own cultural background and identity influences my interactions with the land, culture, and people, and to approach these interactions with openness, curiosity, and sensitivity; it’s to savor new foods and sights and to learn about the history and language of the country; it’s to cultivate meaningful relationships and share experiences and perspectives with those around me and to appreciate living everyday life in the community. Overall, I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity and it’s an exciting journey that’s really going to change my life.
What was your experience like applying for a Fulbright scholarship?
Shi: I began the application pretty early in the summer (June 2021) and had finished it while I was studying abroad in Thailand (October 2021). It was a long and sometimes stressful process, but I learned a lot from the experience. I received incredible support from faculty, friends, and family, whether that be pointing me to resources that would help better develop my application, working through different peer review stages for my essays, writing letters of recommendation, or simply giving encouragement and having faith in me to pursue this goal. I couldn’t have done it without the people in my life.
How has North Park prepared you to pursue your future plans?
Shi: The faculty members in my department and throughout the university as well as classes I’ve taken have really shaped my understanding of the world and sharpened my critical thinking skills. They’ve helped me find what I’m interested in and passionate about and given me guidance and assurance throughout my undergraduate education.