Q&A with Darya Kraynaya '08, Fulbright Scholar
Darya Kraynaya ‘08, Fulbright Scholar
Q: How will you be using your Fulbright?
Darya: I will use my grant as a tool for developing stronger ties between Spain and the US by encouraging my students and teachers whom I will be working with, to learn more about the US. I hope my representation in Spain will encourage people to look past stereotypes of Americans. Living in Spain for a year, will also allow me to see society, culture, politics, history and economics from a different point of view than the one presented in the United States.
Q: Why did you choose this particular country/program?
Darya: When I studied abroad in Seville, Spain I absolutely fell in love with the country, the people and their culture. Because of the experience, I knew I would be able to focus on my work and achieve the goals that I set for the Fulbright program because I am already familiar with the country, the culture and the way of life, and would not have to deal with the culture shock. I chose the ETA (English Teaching Assistant) Program because, as a teaching assistant I will have more opportunities to interact with Spaniards and to be an active participant of the community, sharing my knowledge and learning from others. Living in Spain for a year will also allow me to enhance my knowledge of Spanish and to fully immerse in Spanish society.
Q: What do you hope to gain from the experience?
Darya: I hope that I will grow as a person even more and learn from my students and colleagues. Through my research I hope to discover more about diplomatic relations between Spain and the US and I hope that my time as a Fulbrighter will equip me with the knowledge and capabilities to go into the field of International Law and Diplomacy.
Q: What is your advice to students who might be considering applying for a Fulbright?
Darya: To the students who are considering a Fulbright, I strongly suggest working on your application at least 3 months leading up to the deadline. The Fulbright application process should be approaches like a marathon and not a sprint. Begin working on your essays as soon as you can, turn in several drafts to your advisor/mentor because this is your only chance to shine for the board in the US and that in the country of your choice. To those who are applying for the ETA (English Teaching Assistant) definitely mention a side project that you would like to work on, discuss how you plan on participating in the life of the community you will live in.
I believe that a Fulbright is definitely attainable to those who carefully prepare their application and who have a genuine interest in research and/or teaching English and educational and cultural exchange.