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USC’s Fabulous Fulbrights

In this feature article for Trojan Family Magazine, I had the opportunity to delve into the lives of USC’s Fulbright Scholars, an experience that was as enlightening as it was inspiring. The feature, titled “Fabulous Fulbrights,” showcases the exceptional journeys of these young minds, highlighting their academic excellence, cultural explorations, and profound contributions to the global community.

The article begins with the story of Maria Fish ’15, a remarkable USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences graduate and a recent recipient of the prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Maria’s journey is a tapestry of diverse cultural experiences, from her teenage years as an exchange student in Costa Rica and Honduras to her groundbreaking research in Spain. Her passion for languages and her commitment to global citizenship shine through her story, illustrating the depth and dedication of USC’s Fulbright scholars.

Throughout the article, I share the intriguing and often heartwarming stories of 19 USC students who have been awarded Fulbright grants, marking the largest Fulbright class in the university’s history. These stories are not just about academic achievements; they are tales of personal growth, cultural immersion, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge across borders.


Excerpt: At only 22 years old, Maria Fish ’15 has an breathtaking collection of snapshots from places across the world: Chile, England, Honduras, Hong Kong, Macau, and Spain, just to name a few. But these aren’t idyllic vacation souvenirs.

There are the pictures of Fish as a teenage exchange student in Costa Rica and Honduras. More recent ones show her on Mexico’s Isla Contoy, taken during a tour of the national park to examine the effects of tourism on local ecosystems. Others show her in Valencia, Spain, where she traveled on a research award the summer after her freshman year at USC to study immigration policy. She looks at ease in the images: Traveling and working far from her Pacific Northwest home come naturally now. After all, she speaks Spanish and English fluently, and is learning Catalan. She’s also learned to embrace bridging language barriers and cultural differences as the best training to become a true global citizen—an education that can’t be learned from any book.

Her love for languages and life abroad made the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences graduate a standout candidate for the prestigious Fulbright scholarship, which sent her to Europe this fall. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program stands as one of the oldest and most well-established international exchange programs, offering some 1,700 American students the opportunity each year to meet, work, live and learn in host countries around the world.

Read the full article on USC News and Trojan Family Magazine:


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