Sarah Tucker ’13 from Indonesia

I’ve had a wonderful experience thus far in Indonesia. A few weeks ago before the Eid Islamic Holiday, I was asked to serve on an election committee for Indonesia students to study in America.

Serving as a panel member for the Fulbright Scholarship Election Committee, I was given the task to review Indonesian applicants for Masters and PhD programs in the United States. Let’s say it felt slightly strange being on the other side of this process, since only a short 18 months ago, I was applying to be accepted into Indonesia. Reading the applications and proposed studies, allowed me to gain a better understanding of topics of focus in Indonesia and what it takes to succeed in education here.

When asked how she will adjust to academic rigor in America, one brilliant Fulbright candidate explained that in Indonesia and many developing nations, students have to be that much more creative and dedicated to their studies to overcome the shortage of experienced teachers and the absence of learning materials. I recollect on all of the assistance the educational system in America has provided to allow me to get to the places I have been and feel extremely blessed.

My experience at Smith College surrounded by women thinking about global solutions and in particular the ideas shared between cohorts of Smith Fulbright Fellowship applicants has now not only been useful as becoming a grantee, but also in nominating other grantees. Serving on the committee, I feel my Fulbright experience has come full circle. I can truly understand this program as an exchange of thought, culture, and people.

With all this being said, I am looking to extend my research in Indonesia. And last but certainly not least, thank you!!! You were a wonderful mentor.

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