Pre-Departure Orientation

8 08 2010
Fulbright Orientation

One of the many informative sessions for South and Central Asian Fulbrighters

Thank God the State Department sponsors a pre-departure orientation for all of us, because I had so many questions and was anxious to meet the other scholars and students going to Nepal. Although I wish it had been earlier, the orientation was in June and it was held in Washington DC (another grant perk is airfare, hotel and a stipend to cover food/transportation).

Altogether, there are 24 of us going to Nepal, some all year and others (like me) for part of the year. Each of the country sessions was run by Fulbright Directors and staff from those countries, who’d made the trip to Washington DC for this event. These people basically function as our host country saviors for any questions or assistance.

Besides meeting the Nepal crew, it was so great to connect with people across disciplines who will be in the other South and Central Asia regions. I met the most interesting and amazing people conducting research in areas like malaria eradication, health problems (like diabetes) resulting from the obesity of Western-influenced diets, and architecture of ancient water wells.

And the larger Fulbright sessions themselves were extremely informative and even funny at times. The presenter of the accident and sickness program wanted to make sure we knew that if we should happen to die while overseas, their program would pay to ship our bodies back to the United States, but not our personal belongings! Other sessions included cross-cultural communication, personal safety and security, opportunities for Fulbright alumni, and special sessions for students, scholars and any dependents who might be accompanying scholars.

Fulbright Orientation

(Left to right) Here I am with other Nepal Fulbright Scholars Deborah Merola, Vaidyanadhan Krishnan and Lakshmaiah Sreerama




2 responses

2 02 2011
Ebony Bates

Dear Kathryn,

Thank you for writing a blog about the Pre Departure Orientation. We here at the Department of State are in seach of photos from last year’s South and Central Asia PDO. Are you willing to share any of your pictures? If so, please contact me.

Thank you,


9 08 2010

What a cool idea. Keep us updated on your travels! I’ll see if I can get the Times to update it’s list of “faculty” blogs to include this.

Joe Sheller

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