Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera

This February in New York, One To World hosted Fulbright Scholars and Fulbright Students as distinguished guests at the Metropolitan Opera.

Source: http://www.metopera.org/

The Outside View of the Metropolitan Opera

Scholars from Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Jordan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey were among the delighted audience at the event.

Fulbrighters take picture together before entering the Metropolitan Opera

Fulbrighters take a picture together before entering the Metropolitan Opera

The first program on the agenda was a live performance of Le Nozze di Figaro, a popular comedy composed by Wolfang Amadeus Mozart about love, power, and fidelity. Besides the comical plot, which caused the audience to burst with laughter, the Scholars and Students were amused by the singing and music.

Source: http://www.metopera.org/

Actors performing a scene

The highlight of the event was the backstage tour, which granted the group access to the performers. Scholars were fascinated to see all the work that went into making the productions successful, and were astonished to meet and greet Roberto Alagna, a world class famous French tenor. In the words of Mathilde Peron, a Fulbright Student from France, “it was amazing!”

[Left to right) Fulbright Scholars Marcia Graminha from Brazil and Arunima Chauduri from India and Fulbright students, Margarita Elisa Troetsch from Panama and Ekaterina Kryakhova from Russia

[Left to right) Fulbright Scholars Marcia Graminha from Brazil and Arunima Chauduri from India and Fulbright students, Margarita Elisa Troetsch from Panama and Ekaterina Kryakhova from Russia

In the end, the group left with new friends, entertained minds, and a deep appreciation for the arts.

New friends, Fulbright Scholars Tawfiq Farouk from Jordan and Amilcar Pereira from Brazil

New friends, Fulbright Scholars Tawfiq Farouk from Jordan and Amilcar Pereira from Brazil

 

The Wonders of the Universe and the Words of Lincoln

Now that spring has sprung, Fulbright Visiting Scholars are able to enjoy wonderful weather and beautiful blooms! A group of Scholars in the Los Angeles area recently visited The Huntington Library and Gardens where they toured the drought-resistant spring planters on a docent-led tour.

Huntington Gardens

Huntington Gardens

The president of Huntington Library, Laura Skandera Trombley, greeted the group and gave them an overview of the Library. Appropriately, Trombley also serves as Chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and Fulbright holds a special place in her heart.

Laura Trombley speaking to Scholars - LA

Laura Skandera Trombley speaks with Fulbright Visiting Scholars at The Huntington Library

Scholars explored the library to find original copies of the Gutenberg Bible, works by Geoffrey Chaucer and letters by Abraham Lincoln.

Scholars also had the opportunity to visit Caltech, where they heard from top astrophysicists on infrared photography in outer space and the possibility of life in other universes. It was a full day of exploration and enrichment!

Scholar group photo

Scholars enjoy a break during an exciting day in Los Angeles

 

Scholars Commemorate Black History Month at Howard University

This February, Scholars were treated to a special event at Howard University in Washington D.C, courtesy of the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center. The event highlighted the contribution of Howard University to the community, and the overall importance of historically black colleges and universities in the United States.

Scholars from China, India, Russia, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan were exhilarated to be a part of this event.

Group with the Provost and Jeronimo Augusto

Fulbright Scholars with the Provost and Jeronimo Augusto

The program for the day featured presentations by Dr. Gary Harris, Associate Provost Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. Edna Medford, History Professor, Tonija Navas, from the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center, and Dr. Keri Miller, the Fulbright representative at Howard. Presentations touched on contributions in science, urban development, and the history of Howard University and its hospital, Freedman’s Hospital.

The highlight of the program was a special event on Howard’s involvement in the urban development of its community; a discussion with Howard students and Julian Castro, the U.S Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Secretary of U.S Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro speaking to the audience about urban development.

Secretary of U.S Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro speaking to the audience about urban development.

After the presentations, the group went on a walking tour around campus to enjoy the beautiful structures and history of Howard University.

Scholars delight in a walk around the Howard campus

The Scholars were invited to a special viewing of the Howard simulation labs in the medical school and the brand new interdisciplinary research center. They were amazed at the advancement in technology and the hospitality of the staff.

Scholars enjoying a discussion with a Howard Staff at the Simulation Lab

Scholars enjoying a talk with a Howard Staff at the Simulation Lab

In the end, the group left with new friends, a new place to call home, and a new found love and respect for historically black colleges and universities.

Some scholars strike a pose for the camera one last time before leaving.

Some scholars strike a pose for the camera one last time before leaving.

Scholars Cheer on the Brooklyn Nets

On February 1, 2016, Fulbright Scholars and their families were hosted by One To World in downtown Brooklyn for an evening of fun and basketball at the Barclay’s Center. Scholars enjoyed a riveting basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Detroit Pistons. The purpose of meeting at a popular sporting and entertainment center was to give Scholars and their families the full experience of the American sports culture.

[Right to left] Taiwanese Scholar Hanhsing Lee, and his son.

[Right to left] Taiwanese Scholar Hanhsing Lee, and his son.

Scholars from countries like Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom were able to enjoy this event together.

(From left to right) Senegalese scholar, Salious Dione and Nigerian scholar, Patricia Odumosu

[From left to right] Senegalese scholar, Salious Dione and Nigerian scholar, Patricia Odumosu

During the game, Scholars learned about America’s passionate love for basketball, foreign players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) league, and the Barclays Center’s role in the community. Scholars and their families easily assimilated into the culture of American sportsmanship! They high-fived everyone in their section, stood up as the national anthem of the United States was harmoniously projected from the speakers, cheered passionately when the Nets scored and booed just as passionately when the rivalry team scored, danced in and out of their seats to the music and bought hot dogs and other tasty items from food vendors.

Fulbright scholars and their families enjoying the game.

Fulbright scholars and their families enjoying the game.

Despite the surprising loss (the scores were so close!) by the Brooklyn Nets, it was an unquestionably great experience. In the words of Katherine Gash, a Fulbright Scholar from the United Kingdom at Columbia, “It was fantastic! Great atmosphere and hot dogs! It was great to meet other Fulbrighters. The game was fast and very fast moving and I really enjoyed all the music/atmosphere. The national anthem pre match was lovely to hear. I loved it. It was a real American experience!” This was the universal sentiment expressed by all who attended the event.

In the end, Scholars and their families left with full stomachs, joyful hearts, a renewed feeling of community, and a better understanding of America’s culture beyond the four walls of their offices and homes.

Brazillan scholar, Amilcar Pereira displaying his newly acquired Black History Month Brooklyn Brooklyn Nets shirt.

Brazillian scholar, Amilcar Pereira displaying his newly acquired Black History Month Brooklyn Nets shirt.

Scholars Help the Homeless in Honor of MLK Day

SOME

On January 19, 2016, SOME (So Others Might Eat) hosted Fulbright Visiting Scholars for a one day volunteer event in Washington, DC in honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr. The purpose of the event was to enlighten Scholars about America’s spirit of volunteerism, and to educate them on the problem of homelessness and poverty that looms over the city.

Despite the coldness in the air, it was a beautiful day. The event was attended by several Fulbright Visiting Scholars from 7 different countries, and some Fulbright Staff. It was moderately representative of what Martin Luther King Jr. expressed in his “I Have a Dream” speech; they were men and women of different ages and from different races.

After five minutes of what seemed similar to old friends playing catch up, the group was formally and graciously welcomed by Samantha Davis, an advocacy specialist at SOME. Samantha presented the group with a wide range of interesting, but saddening information. The group learned about the current status of homeless residents in DC, SOME’S general work, and programs within SOME that are actively advocating for homeless and low income residents in the Washington D.C area.

Thereafter, the group was divided into smaller groups and went to work. For four delightful hours, Fulbright Scholars and staff dedicated their time to serving hot meals, washing piles of dishes, and cleaning tables for homeless and low income people in DC. Everyone that entered the room left with a smile on their face.

In the end, the group left with a new sense of responsibility and commitment to eradicate the problem of homelessness and poverty one individual at a time.

Fulbright Scholars

Fulbright Visiting Scholars from China, Indonesia, Albania, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Australia, and Hong Kong volunteering at SOME

Scholars and the Seas

International House Davis held their annual Asilomar Conference this November in the beautiful Monterey Bay area. For two days, Fulbright Scholars, Families, and Volunteers were joined by Humphrey Fellows to learn about, “The Oceans: Managing Critical Issues”. They heard from guest speakers from the Hopkins Marine Station, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay National Sanctuary, which are among the top research centers on the West Coast.

mont bay

Humphrey Fellows and Fulbright Scholars visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Left to Right: Kakhaber Bakhtadze (Georgia), Carmel Christy Kattithara (India), Tannia Mayorga (Ecuador), Harum Mukhayer (Sudan), Tomasz Koncweicz (Poland), Nirina Fenoarifara (Madagascar), Humberto Camacho (Bolivia), and Ivar Kruusenberg (Estonia)

They learned about many marine issues, such as “The Death and Life of Monterey Bay”. This bay underwent a 100 year restoration project that was once polluted to death but now has been restored to life and is a marine sanctuary. They also learned about the adaptability of marine life under extreme conditions.

beach

Children of Fulbright Scholars strolled down the Asilomar Boardwalk

The conference was also hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest and most comprehensive aquariums in America and a leader in ocean conservation, research and education. They were able to see the tools and perspectives used by marine biologists and others in the field. On the final day of the tour, scholars presented on ocean issues from their countries, specifically: fisheries in Norway, education about ocean conservation in Norway, drilling for oil and the tar sands in Canada, and ocean acidification in Spain.

asilomar

Fulbright Visiting Scholars Panel with Bernt Aarset and Jessica Marks (Norway), Philippe Le Billon (British Colombia, Canada) and Joaquim Garrabou (Spain) to discuss critical marine issues in their home countries

A main takeaway from the conference was the importance of citizen involvement in saving the oceans and promoting policies to create more marine sanctuaries, and demand restrictions which will further protect the seas.

group pic

A group photo of Fulbright Visiting Scholars, Humphrey Fellows, Advisory Committee members and staff at the beautiful Asilomar Conference grounds

Fall Fun with Fulbright and Family!

Boston Fulbright Scholars and their families enjoyed a beautiful Fall Foliage tour To Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary in Princeton, Massachusetts. Scholars enjoyed a short hike to a boulder that had been deposited by an ancient glacier and a tour by the caretaker for the Wildlife Sanctuary.

boston foliage

Scholars and families exploring the Audubon Society Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary

The Fulbright party continued to Apple Fest. There were food and craft vendors, musical performances, and the Skyride ski lift to the observation tower at the top of the mountain. The foliage was at its peak with beautiful bright colors. Fall is a truly magnificent season to enjoy New England’s vibrant flora.

skylift

The Skyride to the summit