Alumni stories

Fulbrighter Story: Odgerel Bumandalai

When I first found out that I was accepted to study my master’s degree in one of the U.S. universities as a Fulbright Scholar, I did not know what to expect. I felt extremely nervous and anxious, but at the same time I wanted to study and gain good knowledge from one of the best universities in the world. All I could think of was that I have to work hard and not to jeopardize those people’s trust whom gave me this once in a lifetime opportunity.

My journey started with the pre-academic program at Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA, where I was able to improve my English and learn many skills that are essential for studying and living in U.S. I can’t thank enough my professors at MIIS, whom taught us how to communicate and adjust in American culture and be confident about ourselves in such a short period of time. Moreover, we were able to get to know each other well and become a big family, called “United Nations.”

After completing my pre-academic program, I went to my host institute to study my master’s degree in Biological Engineering at Washington State University, Pullman, WA. My first few days were filled with new people and roommates, different cultures and hot and sunny weather. I was surprised to find out that majority of my colleagues in my department were from China, since I was expecting to work with American students. Despite that fact, our lab mates were kind and hardworking. I was grateful to have a chance to work in a multidisciplinary group and learn many different skills from them.

I can say without a doubt that being a Fulbright scholar in the United States gave me an opportunity to learn many useful skills and boost my career in the future. Moreover, I was able to represent my country and share my culture with many international students. It was absolutely a very enriching and one of the most eye-opening experiences in my life.