The Ferris Fulbrighters Group gathered in the interdisciplinary resource center to discuss the travels of a professor and welcome a professor from Spain on Thursday.
The group was created to establish a way for faculty to take the opportunity to study abroad and create connections that will help them. The group is part of the Fulbright Scholars Program. At the event, speakers from different departments on campus spoke of how the group has helped them, and how they have the opportunity to learn more about other countries through the program.
Dr. Christine Vonder Haar, an English professor, is a part of the Ferris Fulbrighters group, and spoke on how the program has impacted the U.S.
“The Fulbright Program just in general, it’s got kind of indicated and others have said it’s a long standing program going back to 1946. J. William Fulbright and a US senator from Arkansas proposed a program following World War II to help heal the wounds of World War II by way of not politics, but by education and cultural exchange,” Vonder Haar said. “And so, today this year, I think there were 900 U.S scholars currently going from us to countries all around the world. And there’s double that number of undergraduate students.”
Joining the speakers at the event was Fernando Hernádez GarcÍa, a music professor from Spain. Through Erasmus+ he was able to come to the U.S. and experience cultural differences.
“Erasmus+ is a European mobility program for teachers and students in which the different governments of the sending countries cover for your battery, the travel and accommodation expenses,” GarcÍa said. “And this program includes a sending center, a hosting center and people, both students and teachers, who are going to move in general, the program aims to get to know the same different education systems to get the agreements and with rolling to rather than the participants perspective.”
GarcÍa was given the chance to stay at Ferris for a week and was given the chance to check out Ferris’ music courses to see how they may differ from his in Spain, and to share his music ideas with students on campus.
Dr. Jerry Emerick is a professor at Ferris with the information security and intelligence program, as well as with the artificial intelligence program. Emerick traveled to Vienna, Austria where he was given the chance to work as a professor abroad, through the Ferris Fulbrighters Group. He was able to share one of his experiences about what it was like to teach abroad.
“They did what’s called a blended intensive program,” Emerick said. “And what it what it is, is that they had a number of programs, but it was universities from many different parts of Europe, as far away as the Netherlands and Latvia, Hungary and Germany, some countries more nearby that came to St. Portland for the week. And they brought their master’s students that were working on in like computer sciences. And they helped each other kind of sort out their thesis ideas.”
Emerick explained that through this idea, students were able to share what they were doing and get input from others on what may work, in order to create a stronger thesis paper.
Emerick hopes that through his experiences he can encourage students and faculty to go abroad and experience the different experiences and opportunities being in another country can bring. He also hopes that he can show students that through this program it can be more affordable than they may think.