Alumni stories

Fullbright the Global Force

I’m Uyanga Bazaa, was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar. How-ever, I wouldn’t call myself a city girl. I love the countryside and out-door activities but at the same time I cannot imagine my life without TV, Internet as I am in the field of journalism and media. In 2006 I won Fulbright scholarship and came to the States in August 2007. It has been already three years since I settled down in the Wild West of America – Lawrence, Kansas and completed my Masters Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication in the University of Kansas (KU).

Thinking back to my two years’ of life spent in Kansas is somewhat similar to Wizards of Oz storylines. There were many times I wished I could return home by simply clicking my heels because of new environment, unfamiliar culture and different educational system from the one that I was from. However all these new experiences and challenges were worth it and life changing as I had met so many great people from all over the world and made life-long friends with them. As I was a practicing journalist, I had made series of stories that cover differ-ent aspect of American life style. Considering a limited space in this newsletter, I chose to highlight the Fulbright Association at KU and peo-ple who make it alive and fun.

Second day of my arrival in Lawrence Kansas, somebody knocked on my door early in the morning. I opened it. Two people are standing there: Aarya and Eta. They were surprised when they saw me and said: "Oh sorry, we are looking for a man. There must be some kind of misunderstanding," and they left. Ten minutes later they come back again. Sorry we are looking for Uyanga Bazaa. I thought the person must be male. In my imagination, I thought you are male. Sorry. We are Ful-brighters, who came to Lawrence in previous years.

"We help new Fulbrighters, to find an apartment, to buy things and settle down, anything we can help." We went to a Chinese buffet restaurant and met with other Fulbrighters who just arrived as I did from different part of the world and the ones who were welcoming us. Then we went to Eta’s house. There, Suzi lectured us on buying cell phones or cars; find-ing an apartment; Walmart is cheap, but Checkers is better, organic food can be found on farmers’ market; Lawrence public transportation sucks; you guys better be roommates with each other; tornado; obtaining so-cial security card, being careful with our ID an any card numbers etc. These people helped me a lot. They helped me to look for an apartment, they gave us ride to grocery stores, and fun activities such as potluck where we can have authentic food from around the world, and sing and dance together.

A number of international students in KU has reached the record in 2007 with over 1600, about 6 percent of whole student body. Also KU has the highest number of Fulbright students, who got the tuition waiver from school or got scholarship from U.S Department of State.

In addition to getting quality education in U.S. institutes, my experience in and around the country was exciting. Senator Fulbright! Thank you for initiating this program. Look, now it has become such a huge net-work that includes many great people from all over the world.