At least 13 Yale seniors have been awarded Fulbright scholarships this year, according to the Office of Fellowship Programs.
The Fulbright provides winners with individualized grants to fund living and travel expenses for students pursuing a broad range of international projects, typically studying, teaching or researching abroad. This year’s winners will travel to 10 different countries, although OFP is still waiting to receive decisions regarding students who applied to Egypt, Syria and Macau, Director of Fellowship Programs Linda De Laurentis said.
De Laurentis said the total number of Fulbright applicants from Yale this year hovered in the low 50s, compared to 50 last year and a record 62 the year before.
Around this time last year, 11 Elis had been awarded Fulbright Scholarships; ultimately, a total of 16 seniors received the award, though one turned down the offer.
Yale has traditionally had a large number of Fulbright winners compared to other institutions. In 2008, 25 Yale students received Fulbright Scholarships, placing it third among U.S. research institutions behind only Harvard University and the University of Michigan. The year prior, Yale had 28 winners, besting Harvard but still falling short of the University of Michigan.
De Laurentis said Yale students have been well-suited for the Fulbright Scholarship because of the program’s broad scope. She added that Yale students make for attractive applicants because many have previous experiences abroad.
“Most of the winners have had an international experience before senior year,” she said. “It ties in nicely with the international focus of the University.”
This year’s winners have a wide range of interests and will pursue unique projects on four different continents, De Laurentis said.
Nate Becker ’09, an economics and political science major from Coral Springs, Fla., will spend next year in China, taking language courses in the fall and then studying world commodities markets while living with local farmers.
Becker described his project as an extension of the research he did last summer, when he used a Yale-funded fellowship to study the ability of locals to raise debt to start businesses.
Adam Horowitz ’09, an American studies major from Pelham, Mass., will spend the next year in Colombia working with different theater groups.
“A lot of Fulbrights allow students to research something, but my hope is to balance research and practice,” he said. “It’s looking at intersections of performance, politics and community.”
The Fulbright scholarship was established in 1946 and is sponsored by the U.S. State Department.