Life After Fulbright: Premature Musings

When I first heard heard that I received the Fulbright my reaction pretty much followed this order:

1) Disbelief.

2) Ecstasy.

3) What next?

I’m a planner. I make lists. I play out a variety of scenarios, ponder different possibilities. I seek opportunities, and I follow through whenever possible. I’ll admit that there were a couple of moments during the Fulbright application process when I thought about giving up on it, letting it stay idle until the deadline passed and I wouldn’t have to think about it again. I almost followed that road, but I pushed on to finish the application. Taking that step has made all the difference.

Planning has been a huge part of my success, I think. The recent trip to Bonnaroo allowed me a chance to reset and get back to the here and now, which was (and continues to be!) invigorating. Sometimes the best things in life can’t be planned, but usually it takes a little planning to make the best things happen. If that doesn’t make sense, then consider the example of Bonnaroo: I had a fabulous time being in the moment (i.e. not planning) while I was there and did more than I thought I would. However, I would not have had such a comfortable experience if I hadn’t planned a route, provisions, emergency back-up, et cetera.

In the same way, preparing for this upcoming Fulbright experience will take some planning, though the experience will ultimately be made by being in the moment.

And of course, being the planner I am, I am already thinking ahead to my next steps. That’s what this post is about, really. I am making a living document that is public for all to see and add comments. These are ideas for what I can do starting in the summer of 2016, once I return from Indonesia.


Rhodes Scholarship: Generous and prestigious scholarship that funds a year of Graduate coursework at Oxford University in the UK.

Marshall Scholarship: Another generous and prestigious scholarship that funds one or two years of Graduate coursework at a variety of universities in the UK.

Mitchell Scholarship: Funds one year of Graduate study in Ireland in any discipline.

Pickering Fellowship: Funds a two year Graduate program in International Relations or a related field with a required five years of work in the Foreign Service upon completion of Graduate coursework.

Clarendon Scholarship: Though not as well known as the Rhodes scholarship, the Clarendon fund also supports Graduate and Doctoral level students studying at Oxford. Any subject area is welcome to apply.

Rangel Fellowship: Funds 30 traditionally under-represented Fellows for a two-year Graduate program in preparation for starting a career in the foreign service.

Schwarzman Scholarship: Fully funded one-year graduate program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Database for finding professional and academic fellowships. After you create your profile, you can browse hundreds of fellowships and receive full fellowship information as well as advice and reviews from former fellows.


Boren Scholarship: Awarded to qualifying Undergraduate and Graduate students, the Boren Scholarship funds a year abroad in areas critical to U.S. interests. Various disciplines are accepted.

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS): Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the FLAS Fellowship is awarded to Undergraduate and Graduate students pursuing studies of less common languages or regions. Fellowships can be a full academic year or summertime appointments.

Fulbright: That’s right, Fulbright recipients can apply for other Fulbright programs. I am currently doing an English Teaching Assistantship, though in the future it is permissible for me to apply for a Fulbright research grant to conduct studies overseas for a full year on the topic of my choosing.

Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS): Fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for Undergraduate and Graduate students. Recipients study one of thirteen “critical” languages as designated by the U.S. Department of State. (I applied for a CLS to study Hindi and was listed as an Alternate, but when Fulbright pulled through I took myself off this list. I can always apply again in the future though!)

Blakemore Foundation: Fully-funded language-learning fellowships for college graduates who have a professional interest in learning East and Southeast Asian languages. Fellowships cover language program tuition and provide a living stipend. Applicants do not need to be affiliated with a university to apply.

Darmasiswa Scholarship: A year-long scholarship funded by the Indonesian government. This opportunity is open to all nationalities. Scholarship recipients receive a stipend to support them during their studies of bahasa Indonesia at an Indonesian University of their choosing. Candidates must be between 18 and 35 and do not have to be current students at the time of the application.


Peace Corps: 27 months of service on a project of your choice, fully funded by the U.S. government.

Princeton in Asia: Yearlong Fellowship funded by Princeton University to work with a service organization in an Asian country.

Princeton in Africa: Yearlong (12 month) Fellowship funded by Princeton University to work with a service organization in an African country. Applications for the following year cycle open in August. (e.g. applicants for the summer 2017-summer 2018 cycle can apply beginning in late August 2016)

International Volunteer Headquarters: Volunteer for up to three months on a project in the country of your choice. This opportunity is self-funded but the fees are reasonable.

CADIP: Volunteer around the world for any duration from 2 weeks to 12 months. Projects vary based on the location. The fees for this project are reasonable and include room and board.

Christianson Grant: Funding of up to 10,000USD do an overseas service project for a minimum of 6 months.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF): Work-exchange on an organic farm in virtually any country. Length of stay depends on the farm. This opportunity is self-funded but the travel itself is the biggest cost. There is a membership fee (typically less than $20 USD/year) to see farms in the country of your choice.


Working Holiday in Australia: Until I turn 30, I am allowed to live and work in Australia for a year. I have met many travelers who did this and then went backpacking in Southeast Asia for an extended period of time.

Working Holiday in New Zealand: Though not as well-known as the working holiday visa in Australia, U.S. citizens ages 18 to 30 can live and work in New Zealand for up to a year.

Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET): Fairly competitive program that sends U.S. citizens to become English teachers in Japan for 1 year minimum or 5 years maximum.

Au Pair Paris: Live with a French family for a year and take care of their kids. Pay isn’t high but it is a good way to learn French. For ages 18-28.

Teach English in Spain: There are many options for teaching English in Spain. This website gives a list of four respectable options.

National Geographic Young Explorers Grant: National Geographic’s Young Explorers grant funds youth ages 18-25 to pursue research, conservation, and exploration-related projects.

HelpX: A volunteer-based work-sharing program. Travel costs are the biggest expense, but food and lodging is provided in exchange for work on farms, in hostels, on sailing ships, and other opportunities.


Putney Student Travel: Putney offers community-service based programs for students in middle and high school. Operating since 1951, Putney is a respected name in student travel circles. Putney seeks trip leaders who will enhance the experience of the students who participate in Putney’s trips. Trips are over the summer to a variety of countries and last between 2 and 6 weeks.

National Geographic Student Expeditions: NatGeo partners with Putney Student Travel to bring a travel opportunities to young people. Expedition leaders must be experienced and responsible, among other qualifications.

Adventures Cross Country (ARCC): ARCC offers teens ages 13-18 service and adventure oriented group travel opportunities over the summer. Each trip has two co-leaders and trips last between 2 and 5 weeks.

Rustic Pathways: Similar to the previous two organizations, Rustic Pathways provides guided summer travel opportunities for teenagers. Programs vary in their focus, though most include a community service component. Trip leaders must be available June-August.


Americorps National Civilian Conservation Corps (NCCC): 10-12 months of service in one of five regions in the U.S. Service projects are variable, though projects are done in a team with 8-12 other young people. A modest living stipend is given, though lodging and meals are provided.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF): Candidates must have already completed an advanced degree. This program is focused on leadership development for entry-level, advanced-degree-holding candidates who aspire to work in government. (Obviously this one doesn’t apply to me…yet… But I am including it as a possibility for the more distant future.)


FINDING A JOB The social network for professionals has a “Jobs” section where you can find jobs in any field anywhere in the world. Using your LinkedIn profile makes applying to these jobs a breeze. Connect with thousands of jobs, internships, organizations, and volunteering opportunities around the world. The best thing is that all of these opportunities are for organizations that want to do good in the world. Find a job in any industry around the US. You can develop an online profile to make applying to jobs through the website a quick and easy process. Find work around the world with non-profits and other organizations that work with the UN, or even apply for a job with the UN itself. The leading update center for humanitarian workers around the globe. Access reports and humanitarian job postings in nearly every country.

AngelList: Create a profile and browse jobs at start-up companies around the world.

TechInAsia: Find jobs in the tech and business world throughout Asia.


Verge: Great articles relevant to travelers and lots of resources about studying, working, and volunteering abroad.

Matador Network: Lots of articles for travelers with a range of interests. Matador Network also offers travel media classes through their own online program, MatadorU.

AFAR: A great magazine aimed at adventurous, high-end travelers. The website has plenty of free articles and a trip planning guide.

SquareMouth: Compare travel insurance rates and plans to protect yourself (and your wallet!) while traveling.

So those are my thoughts so far. There are a lot of opportunities out there, and I hope to apply for many of the avenues listed here. The direction I take after Fulbright is largely dependent on the experience I have this upcoming year.

And if you are reading these ideas and shake your head at my wanderlust, remember that…


7 thoughts on “Life After Fulbright: Premature Musings

  1. Kelly, can I reprint a portion of this list you’ve compiled in some of our promotional publications? I’ll follow up with an email. -Elizabeth M.


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