The University of Iowa

In the news: UI Fulbright scholar teaches and experiences different culture

September 5th, 2018

Paul Elwell, The Daily Iowan

Miles from the coast of mainland South Korea on the picturesque volcanic island of Jeju, a former  Universityof Iowa student is using his passion for education to teach English to middle-school children.

Chris Orabutt traveled to South Korea two months ago, leaving behind family and friends to further his ambition of becoming a quality educator. He will remain in South Korea for 10 more months, with his stay sponsored by the Fulbright program (run and funded by the U.S. State Department).

The Fulbright program sends students from institutions across the U.S. to foreign countries every year to participate in such activities as education, research, and the arts. The program was founded as a post-World War II effort to increase cultural understanding and diplomatic relations. The UI is a big player in the program, sending 17 scholars abroad for this session.

“For the past three years, the University of Iowa has been in a prestigious group of institutions,” said Associate Director of International Fellowships Karen Wachsmuth. “We are a top producer for the Fulbright program as a research, master’s, and Ph.D. institution. This year is a milestone; we are now tied for 15th place with Columbia and Stanford.”

When Orabutt first heard about the Fulbright program, he was interested but thought he needed a degree before he could pursue it. It wasn’t until he was nominated by one of his professors that he began the application process and was eventually accepted.