Christine Metz Howard
International Affairs

KU to host Fulbright's Pre-Departure Orientation for scholars traveling to Europe, Eurasia

Thu, 07/18/2019

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas will host a Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) for approximately 235 American Fulbrighters from July 21-26. The PDO is for Fulbright U.S. student researchers and English teaching assistants as well as Fulbright U.S. scholars, who will spend up to a year in countries throughout Europe and Eurasia. During the PDO, participants will gain practical information about living and working in a new country, network with other grantees and develop skills related to research and teaching.

KU International Affairs (KUIA) and the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) were selected to coordinate the event.

From July 21-22,  the Fulbright English teaching assistants will convene to focus on best practices and techniques for teaching. From July 23-26,  KU staff and faculty, together with staff from the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education (IIE), will lead a variety of general sessions related to living, working and researching abroad, as well as country-specific information for all the outgoing Fulbrighters. Fulbright alumni will share their experiences and mentor the new participants.

Members of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which selects Fulbright grantees, will join the new Fulbrighters for the closing dinner July 25. The board will hold its quarterly meeting in Manhattan earlier that day.

“We are delighted that the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education have entrusted KU with serving as the host site for the Europe and Eurasia Fulbright Pre-Departure Orientation program. We look forward to welcoming the grantees, their families and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to our campus and appreciate the opportunity the program has provided for KUIA and CREES to collaborate with a variety of program stakeholders from the State Department, IIE and across KU,” said Rachel Sherman Johnson, director of internationalization & partnerships at KU International Affairs.

“The selection of KU as the host for this year’s Europe and Eurasia Fulbright Pre-Departure Orientation program is a great honor and a welcome recognition of the depth of expertise and the long-standing commitment to research and teaching of Russian, East European and Eurasian studies at KU. Working on this project in partnership with KUIA has been truly enjoyable and rewarding. We are grateful for this opportunity to showcase our university’s strength in this area and to develop new and fruitful ties with colleagues across the nation and around the world,” said Vitaly Chernetsky, director of the KU Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies.

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, creates connections between emerging leaders in the United States and around the globe. Established by Congress in 1946, the program is funded through an annual appropriation to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

For over 72 years, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to critical international challenges. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 60 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 86 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

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