Fulbright enrichment activities
A Fulbright year is full of different experiences :
The annual Fulbright musician concert at the American Church in Paris in May is a special moment for the young American artists who have finished their training in the United States and come to France to perfect their art. They come together to share their discoveries and put together a program illustrating their musical interests and accomplishments for the pleasure of the general public. The concert brings together current grantees, French alumni, family and friends to continue and expand the exchange.
“It was a challenge to put together a program with three completely different instruments and musicians who have different musical tastes. André and Nathan turned it into a fun and lighthearted concert that was truly successful.”
Lucia Stavros, Fulbright Advanced Student 2010-2011, Harp
"As an organist, for whom transporting his or her instrument is not especially practical, perhaps "step one" in any new city is discovering its good practice organs and whether or not there is access to them. Having heard horror stories of the practice situation in Paris in the 1970's and 80's during the prolific period of American study with the great legends of Parisian organ lofts, I wasn't particularly optimistic about it arriving in September to begin my Fulbright year. But thanks to the generosity and goodwill of Paris' American Church and Cathedral, I couldn't have had a more different experience. Indeed, it was at the American Church that I spent my three first weeks in France preparing my audition for the Toulouse Conservatoire, and already experimenting with the mystical harmonies heard during my wanderings into various Parisian churches to hear their celebrated instruments and organists. This opportunity to make music with the other two supremely talented Fulbright musicians before our colleagues and friends, the very warm and ever-so-encouraging staff and supporters of the Franco-American Commission, and so many of those who are regulars at the Sunday recitals at the American Church, seemed a poignant way of offering a small "thank you" for all of the kindness from which we have benefited over the past year. I am also reminded of how special it was to offer an improvised collaboration of the traditional American folksong, "Shenandoah," after a hearty diet of Bach, Debussy, Poulenc, and Weckmann - perhaps a poignant reminder of the fact that sometimes it is the smallest gestures that leave the most lasting impression. A heartfelt thanks to all of those who have contributed to our unforgettable experiences in France!"
Nathan Laube, Fulbright Advanced Student 2010-2011, Organ
Université Paris Descartes
"Since January I have volunteered during the children’s story hour at the American Library of Paris. On Wednesday afternoons, the three- to five-year-old children of expats, anglophones, and anglophiles come to the library for picture books, poems, worksheets, and songs. The sessions often have themes based on the season, the closest holiday, or an aspect of American history, but anything “educational” is also up for grabs.
In addition to helping run story hour, I help organize books—which I actually enjoy since my mother is a librarian—and review children’s and young adult books for the American Library blog. This work gives me a chance to spend time with children and participate in a century-old bastion of Franco-American relations."
French alumni of the Fulbright program who live in the provinces invite current US Fulbrighters to participate in cultural activities, meet with high school students, lecture and discover other aspects of France. The commission funds travel and accomodation for two-three days.
The program just started in the fall 2012. Here are the first accounts of the experience:
Former Fulbright Exchange Teacher now living in Fort de France, Martinique
Hosted Terrence Peterson, US doctoral candidate in History
|English Class with Mr. Peterson|
|View of the Island||Heliconia flower|
|Streets of Fort de France||Fort de France by night|
Fulbright FLTA 2011, currently a doctoral student of littérature comparée at the Université d'Angers in Angers, France
Hosted Paula Harrington, US Research Scholar
Fulbright SUSI SSE - Study of the US Institutes, currently the Inspectrice Pédagogique Régionale d'anglais at the Rectorat de l'académie de Reims in Reims, France
Hosted Lucy Archer and Emily Cunningham
Fulbright 2011, currently a doctoral student of science de gestion at the Université de Lille, France
Hosted Andy Lattal, US Fulbright Scholar in Nord Pas-de-Calais and
Jaclyn Tandler, US Advanced Student
For Marie-Thérèse Sureau, the announcement of the new Fulbright In-Country Grant immediately piqued her interest.
This amazing opportunity, she felt, would not only give other Americans the chance to discover the beautiful island of Martinique, but it would also be a chance to share knowledge and experiences with very interesting people.
This was indeed what happened. As Ms. Sureau consulted the profiles of Fulbright grantees, she stumbled upon that of Mr. Terrence Peterson, who had come to Paris for doctoral research on the Algerian War of Independence. Coincidentally, among her acquaintances in Martinique was also someone with a connection to the Algerian War of Independence, a retired professor of the Université de Antilles and Guyane. Algerian in origin, this professor had fascinating first-hand experiences as an adolescent during the war that would no doubt be of interest to Mr. Peterson’s research. The Fulbright In-Country Grant allowed for this face-to-face exchange of information to occur. Additionally, this journey also was an occasion to explore other unknown similarities between the ex-colonies of Martinique and Algeria. The exchange lasted from November 24 to December 2, 2012.
Mr. Peterson discovered Martinique both geographically and culturally. Ms. Sureau, a teacher of Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles, invited Mr. Peterson to come speak about the United States to her class, a wonderful and rare educational treat. Mr. Peterson also had numerous opportunities to meet a variety of people with personal connections to the war. These types of interactions truly enriched Mr. Peterson’s stay in Martinique, both in terms of his doctoral research, and also in terms of his own personal growth.
Ms. Sureau is unbelievably grateful to the Franco-American Commission and any contributing organizations that made this trip possible. She wishes the best of luck to Mr. Peterson with the continuation of his doctoral research.