By Teuta Peja—IN CELEBRATION OF International Education Week 2020, the Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter, in cooperation with Chicago Public Schools took students on a virtual trip to Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Russia.
Four Fulbright alumni from Chicago, Annie Loge, Anna Perkins, Alana Murphy, and Laura Savage who got their Fulbright awards in those countries, shared the values of cultural understanding and international exchange with K-12 students of Columbia Explorers Academy, Multicultural Arts High School, and Prosser Career Academy. Through the interactive presentations of our Fulbright Alumni, students got acquainted with culture and business in Guadalajara, Mexico, discussed what it means to be a “Global Citizen”, compared the population size of Chicago with that of Manila, The Philippines, and brainstormed ways in which a densely packed population might impact day-to-day life.
This is part of the Fulbright in the Classroom ongoing program.
Curious students tested their knowledge by playing Kahoot and participating in the discussion. Through interactive activities, students got to learn about the food, religion, and different lifestyles people have in different parts of the world. Laksa, a famous Malaysian dish, seemed to have caught students’ attention. Impressed with various languages spoken around the globe, language-inclined students practiced greeting in Russian. Hoping to take this virtual adventure further, students expressed interest in the process of studying abroad through Fulbright and other similar programs.
Students enjoyed the virtual trip through the Fulbrighters stories, moreover they appreciated the work of the Fulbrighters around the world. Fifty minutes of sharing a meaningful experience can have a lasting impact on the students. Laura shared one of the many letters she has received from students after her presentation.
“ Dear Miss. Laura, I want to thank you for all the things that you did for your students. You taught them countries and holidays. I found a beautiful city that I could go to one day and that is Malaysia. You are needed to the whole world. You are meaningful. I wish you are getting so much good luck. I want you to have the best feast on Thanksgiving. How yummy is that?! Who is your favorite Marvel/DC Superhero ever Ms.Laura?” Student at Columbia Explorers Academy
“I hope that the experience helped expand students’ horizons by encouraging them learn about a part of the world that might seem especially far away given Chicago’s current stay-at-home advisory.” Alana Murphy, Fulbright alumna in The Philippines