The following are some sample essays for applying for a Fulbright scholarship. This Fulbright essay example is gathered from great people like you. They are great because they dare to try and are willing to share.
Study Objective (1)
I would like to pursue a master’s degree in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Courses that I am especially interested in are Curriculum Design and Language Teaching Methodology. This degree is relevant to my educational background – Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature – and to my current profession as a teaching assistant at two universities, Hasanuddin University and Muhammadiyah University. I am certain that a master’s degree will enhance my academic qualifications and help me gain professional development to become a full-time lecturer in the near future.
My experience as a teaching assistant in two universities for almost two years, as well as various English tutor positions that I have held in the past, are my most valuable assets in pursuing a master’s degree in TESOL. I believe that I will also be able to contribute to the coursework that I will undertake by sharing my experiences teaching English as a foreign language in Indonesia.
My skills and interest in the field of TESOL have been further improved upon by the seminar and workshop that I participated in, both of which were organized by the English language center of my university in collaboration with the Regional Language Office US Embassy in Jakarta which focused on teaching methods and developing teaching materials, delivered by US university professors who are experts in TESOL. As for study commitment, I believe my distinction as the best university graduate with a 3.99 GPA serves as a testament to my commitment to always excel academically.
It is important for me to undertake my master’s degree in the US, firstly because I would like to be immersed in a different learning atmosphere, as opposed to studying in Indonesia with its learning culture that I am already familiar with. I also want to challenge myself to continue my studies in the United States and gain a wider knowledge of its cultural values. I believe that as a teacher of English as a foreign language, knowledge about the culture of an English speaking country is immensely important as culture is an inseparable component of understanding a language, and there is a need to share those cultural aspects to the students through designing a curriculum to combine language and culture learning. Hopefully, the students would not only be able to use the language in the appropriate cultural context, but also come to appreciate and respect the foreign cultural values.
Furthermore, by continuing my studies in the US, there will be many opportunities for me to attend famous international TESOL conferences that are often held in the US. By attending these conferences, I will be able to gain an insight on current trends in English language teaching, connect with experts in TESOL, and learn from their research.
Upon returning to Indonesia with my master degree in TESOL, I hope to be able to teach a wider range of courses and be involved in new programs that both Hasanuddin University and Muhammadiyah University are planning. At Hasanuddin University, the Faculty of Letters is planning to open a stream specifically for students who are interested to become teachers of English as a foreign language. Meanwhile Muhammadiyah University plans to start international classes in the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, in which classes will be taught fully in English. Both programs will be able to make good use of the knowledge that I acquire in the US. Training teaching assistants will also be one of my goals, as from my experience teaching assistant’s role in university has never been given adequate acknowledgement.
I also intend to continue helping out the Lentera Negeri community, a community that I have been involved in the past which helps make English language education available for less fortunate students at elementary school level who are unable to access English language courses. In the end, the chance given to me to continue my studies in the US would not only benefit myself, but also help ensure the future development of Indonesian students and aspiring English language teachers.
Study Objective (2)
I am interested to study for a master’s degree in the field of English language and literature in the United States. The concentration within the field is Composition and Rhetoric. It is relevant to my educational background—Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature—and to the needs of the college where I am currently working. A master’s degree program will provide me with more in-depth learning and advanced training so that I will have the expertise I need inside and outside the academic world. Indeed, a master’s degree will enhance my academic qualifications and help me gain professional development as an English lecturer in STKIP PGRI Sumatera Barat. In STKIP PGRI Sumatera Barat, I teach English subjects. The subjects are Writing I (Paragraph development) and Writing II (Essay writing), Translation I (English-Indonesian translation) and Translation II (Indonesian-English translation), Cross-Cultural Understanding, Speaking III (Speech), and English Correspondence.
Recently, I have a plan to teach other subjects as well, such as Introduction to Literature, Reading Comprehension, Public Speaking, and Academic Writing. Since I do not possess a master’s degree, the chances to realize the plan are still out of reach. Therefore, a master’s degree program in English language and literature will surely improve my knowledge base in those subjects so that I can realize the above mentioned plan.
In the master’s degree program, I will focus my study on Composition and Rhetoric. This is because the college needs lecturers who have academic skills and experience in all kinds of writing or rhetorical situations. The future objective for this is when I have accomplished my master’s degree program; I will take responsibility as an English lecturer whose specialization is writing. Besides, I will be involved as a member of the editorial board in the research unit of the college. The task of the unit is checking and revising the language of research articles before they are published in academic journals. Considering these goals, I am sure that the skill and experience that I will receive in a master’s degree program in the United States will not only aid my academic development but also empower me to achieve the goals.
The head of the English department and Chairperson of the college have encouraged me to pursue a master’s degree by focusing on composition and rhetoric in English. They officially want me to serve as one of the trainers in the program of Professional Teacher Education (PTE) in 2011 to teach subjects related to Writing in the college. The program itself is conducted under the regulation of the Directorate of Higher Education of Indonesia. Therefore, I need to have a good understanding of composition and rhetoric in order to be admitted as a trainer in the program. Composition and Rhetoric will be a considerable emphasis to the overall program of my study in the master’s degree so that I am eligible to perform the best work in the program and effective in training the students who participate in it.
Regarding this Fulbright scholarship program, in particular, I want to obtain a master’s degree in English language and literature in the United States not only because it is an English-speaking country but also because it has an excellent reputation for the quality of education. As an Indonesian, I believe that studying English in the United States can help me acquire greater fluency in the English language, which, in turn, will help my future students. When I come back to Indonesia after successfully completing my study, I will have a better understanding of English as both a field of study and a communicative tool. In addition, I will understand the cultural values of daily life in the United States. These values, then, can be shared with my students in the college in order to help them better understand the importance of cross-cultural understanding.
An additional thing that I want to learn in the United States is to know and understand how American students learn in their classes. In this case, I would love to share the knowledge of Indonesian cultures with students in the United States. This activity will positively contribute to my personal experience as a lecturer and this kind of experience is really a rewarding one for me. When I have understood how the American students learn, I would like to apply the positive sides that I have seen in the United States to my students in STKIP PGRI Sumatera Barat. I hope that a better improvement of cross-cultural understanding between the students of Indonesia and of the United States can be properly maintained after doing the above thing.
To sum up, studying English language and literature with Composition and Rhetoric as its focus in the United States will give me many great insights that I can develop and apply in college after finishing my master’s degree. Conducting research dealing with students’ ability in composing academic writing and sharing a well-shaped concept of English and American cultures with my students will benefit them in their university lives and in the future. I also hope to enhance and promote the future or long-term objectives of STKIP PGRI Sumatera Barat is one of Indonesia’s important educational assets. In the end, a Fulbright scholarship will help me ensure the future development of Indonesia’s students and teachers.
Study Objective (3)
Infrastructure is a primary driver for economic growth of a nation. As a developing country, Indonesia is upgrading its infrastructure development and equitably expanding it throughout the country in order to reduce a gap between Eastern and Western Indonesia. Located in a complex geological condition urges geotechnical engineering to be conducted as an essential part of preliminary study for civil engineering works in Indonesia in order to prevent construction failure. During earning a bachelor degree in Department of Geological Engineering Universitas Gadjah Mada, I focused my study on environmental geology in which geotechnics becomes one of the elective subjects. Having a sound knowledge in understanding ground condition and predicting potential geological hazards is the strength of a geologist. However, realizing that geotechnical engineering also encompasses civil engineering study which I have not deeply learned in my undergraduate program, I decide to pursue master degree in geotechnical engineering particularly in underground construction and tunneling.
As a result of my excellent academic, I was chosen to participate in Indonesia Geology Olympiad 2014 as a leader of engineering geology and hydrogeology team. It was a valuable chance to enhance my knowledge especially in slope stability. I obtained real experience by joining a community development service in 2013 empowering people about landslide mitigation of the area. It became a pioneer of landslide mitigation in Kandangserang, Pekalongan which then followed by installing early warning system (EWS) in the next year. After accomplishing my study, I assisted my lecturer as a site engineer conducting geotechnical preliminary study of a villa construction built on a weathered andesitic hill slope.
I always challenge myself to study other topics of geotechnical engineering. I am currently having a work as a research assistant of GEOCAP project studying geomechanics in geothermal reservoir. Although I have learned a lot of topics, underground construction and tunneling has always attracted my interest. I believe it is projected as a future technology in Indonesia especially in overcoming traffic congestion. However, researches related to this have not well developed yet. Studying this topic in developed country with sophisticated construction technology will completely improve my theoretical and technical skills.
Although I have never traveled to US, I have explored the quality of geotechnical engineering in the US by reading textbook. Most of fundamental textbooks in geotechnical engineering come from US universities, making US becomes a house of dreams for people who want to advance their knowledge in this study. Furthermore, abundant chance of professional career as a geotechnical engineer enables me to gain practical experience by taking an internship. Excellent academic research and professional career will be a perfect combination of experience I will obtain from US.
To continue my study abroad will broaden my horizon and enhance my competitiveness in facing ASEAN Economic Community and other global communities. Upon completing my master degree in geotechnical engineering, I hope I could give contribution to research and academic sector. Lecturers in my department, especially who teach engineering geology and geotechnical engineering, earned their postgraduate degree in Japan, Australia, and Europe. It might be the time to bring experience from US.
Being a Fulbright awardee will open my way in connecting a joint research between US universities and my department. In addition, Universitas Gadjah Mada, in collaboration with Ministry of Public Works and Housing (KemenPU-PERA), is planning to open the first tunnel engineering program in Indonesia. It would be a good chance to implement my knowledge and upgrade the quality of geotechnics research which still becomes the second priority in my department.
In summing up, deciding to continue my study in the US is not only for personal ambition to boost my career but the most important thing is I could obtain international experience in which later its positive value will be adopted to be a better Indonesia particularly for its infrastructure quality.
Study Objective (4)
As a policy advocate, I have been involved in Public Health campaign and policy advocacy for more than five years. As a cycle of policy advocacy, I have done many important things such as conducting policy research, writing a policy brief and lobbying to the government accordingly. As a tobacco control advocate, I have involved in developing National TobaccoControl Roadmap, which considers as a crucial milestone in tobacco control advocacy in Indonesia.
Engaging with stakeholders and interacting with policymaker is very dynamic and demand a broader perspective, knowledge, and skills. Despite I have been involved in a tangible movement in policy advocacy process, I aware that I need to improve theoretical and practical exposure, which can benefit me in holding my responsibility. Specifically, I want to improve my understanding regarding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I also want to improve my capacity in developing, advocating, and evaluating policy as well as enhancing skill in technical policy analysis such as cost-benefit analysis, the survey of population problem and so forth.
The United States’ tertiary education offer high-quality programs and provide broader and new insights through the latest theory, trends, and advance research that could enhance my theoretical and conceptual understanding on the development issue. The States abundance of best practices and experiences in developing public policy, specifically in light of tobacco control policy, will equip me on how to influence policy making process. Furthermore, living in a multicultural society will also give me an international perspective and will furnish me with a wider knowledge of its cultural values.
Therefore I would like to pursue a master degree in public policy, which combines a theoretical and practical approach. Alternatively master of development will also fulfill my need to enhance my academic qualification and help me to gain more credibility in my professional development. I believe that academic exposure and the environment in the United States can provide what I need.
Upon completion of my study, there are two main things I want to do. First, I want to play a pivotal role in Health Council of Muhammadiyah to mobilize the network in Muhammadiyah and other civil society in implementing SDGs agenda. The fact that Indonesia failed to achieve some goals Millennium Development Goals taught me that civil society ownership to development agenda is crucial. Second, I will take a role within world health organization to gain international influence regarding public health and development issue.
I am confident that the opportunity given to me to continue my studies in the US will enhance my capacity in order to take more roles and give more contribution to Indonesia as a developing country.
Personal Statement (1)
Even before I enrolled in the English Language and Literature Department at Hasanuddin University for my undergraduate degree, I was already passionate about teaching the English Language. Whether it was volunteering in English clubs or just helping out my friends in class, I felt a great satisfaction in sharing my knowledge of the English language. Thus, when my high school teachers asked me which department I would choose to pursue my undergraduate studies in, I replied instantaneously, ‘English Language and Literature’. At Hasanuddin University, I studied English language and literature for seven academic semesters which was considered quite fast.
After I graduated in March 2013, I immediately applied for a job as an English instructor at a local language course. It was not my first time as an English instructor. In my third semester as an undergraduate student, I worked as an English instructor at a language course near my campus. At that time I was given the opportunity to teach elementary school children. In my second year, I also did some volunteer Writing as a tutor for freshmen at my department, as well as teaching English reading comprehension strategies to undergraduate students from various majors which took place in the ‘American Corner’ at Hasanuddin Univesity’s main library. At my first job after I graduated from university, I taught English language learners from various ages and backgrounds. I taught elementary school children to university students, as well as hotel employees and a ship technician.
Furthermore, before I officially graduated from the university, in February 2013 I was already employed as a Teaching Assistant by three of my lecturers. I taught ‘English Reading Comprehension Strategies’, which is a compulsory course for undergradate students at Hasanuddin University, to students from the English, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Psychology, Law and Economics Department. I also taught ‘English and American Drama Analysis’ for a semester to English Department students. Currently I have been a teaching assistant for three semesters. After I graduated, I still did some volunteer Writing as an English instructor at the university and a local community where I taught less priviliged children. Recently, I have also been involved in teaching undergraduate students of the English Language Teaching Department at Muhammadiyah University of Makassar.
In between studying, I have always enjoyed creative writing. I even had the chance to publish a novella in second year at university, after I mustered up the courage to show my Writing to a visiting lecturer who was also an author. He introduced me to his publisher and not long after my novella was sold at local bookstores. In 2010, I sold 500 copies of my Writing which may look small in number, but I considered it to be one of my biggest achievements. Currently I have taken an interest in writing about the culture of my ethnicity, Makassarese. Apart from writing, I also enjoy performing in dramas. In high school, I have performed in several small dramas and parodies which I enjoyed immensely. This continued to my freshman year at university where I also participated in dramas and parodies at cultural events.
Hopefully, in the near future after acquiring a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, I will be ready to advance my career as a lecturer at Hasanuddin University. As a lecturer, I expect to be assigned more responsibilities such as teaching a wider range of classes. Meanwhile, I will also do research in the field of TESOL, specifically in curriculum, technology in language learning and English for specific purposes, as these are my specific areas of interest. I also envision myself as a lecturer who will not only guide her students in class, but also outside class.
During my studies at Hasanuddin University, I saw that the lecturer-student relationship outside class was almost nonexistent. Students create programs which are essentially beneficial, such as study clubs, but are not well supervised and as a result it could not reach its maximum potential. I plan to bridge the gap between lecturers and students, and in the process of doing so, I would also like to increase the students’ interest in doing research. In the end, my ultimate career objective is to develop myself to become a specialist in Indonesia in the field of TESOL.
For the past year and a half, my experience as a teaching assistant has helped me shape my ‘preliminary’ beliefs and attitudes about the teaching and learning of the English language. I stated ‘preliminary’ because I believe after acquiring a master’s degree in TESOL, the knowledge and skills that I have acquired will help me evaluate my teaching strategies as well as the beliefs and attitudes that I have adopted. As an educator, I can never be satisfied with my degree of education. I have the obligation to my students and myself to continue developing myself professionally in order to deliver my classes efficiently, effectively and most importantly in a way that my students will be motivated to use the English language.
Personal Statement (2)
Construction and environment have always attracted my attention. When I was a kid, my grandfather, a staff of Department of Public Works, often took me to his office and imprinted the vision of construction on my memory. Thus, when my family, my friends, even my teachers asked me what profession I would like to be in the future, I confidently replied ‘an engineer’. Before enrolled as a student of geological engineering in Universitas Gadjah Mada, I enjoyed traveling and having fieldtrip observing natural landscape. At that time, I usually asked myself, why does every place have different landscape? Why does natural disaster happen in particular area? Does it influence to human building? Not until I studied my bachelor degree, where I learned the basic knowledge of geology and its applications, did my questions begin to be revealed.
As a geological engineer, people think that I would like to pursue my career in petroleum or mining company yet I am interested to study further about effects of geology towards construction and natural disaster. The milestone is joining a community service in Kandangserang, a village located in hilly area in the southern side of Pekalongan. The stunning scenery inspired us to develop its tourism; however, the area was vulnerable to landslide hazard yet the inhabitants and municipal were not aware of the problem. Our landslide mitigation became the pioneer which then followed by installing early warning system in the next year.
In addition, as a result of my excellent academic record, I participated in Indonesia Geology Olympiad 2014 as a leader for engineering geology and hydrogeology team. It was a valuable chance to enhance my knowledge especially in slope stability analysis. After graduating, I assisted my lecturer as a site engineer conducting soil and rock investigation as a feasibility study of a villa construction. I always challenge myself to study further by becoming a research assistant in my home department. Examples of the current researches are influence of hydrothermal alteration towards slope stability and study of geomechanics in geothermal field.
Although I have learned a lot of topics, underground construction and tunneling has always been my interest. I feel that most of old tunnels in Indonesia are not well-maintained making them look frightening and abandoned. Government’s attention to tunnel has been rising lately even the first underground space for transportation is being constructed in Jakarta. I believe it is projected to be built in other metropolises as a future solution in overcoming traffic congestion, thus feasibility study should be carried out to prevent construction failure and disaster.
Those experiences I have explained are not merely achieved by me. As soon as I decide to pursue higher education taking geotechnical engineering, my undergraduate advisor, who is also lecturer in this study always support me professionally and personally. He involved me in his researches, not only for requesting any assistance but also giving me a strong foundation for my advanced study. Thus, I promise to myself that I shall share experience and knowledge from my master study particularly to enhance research interest and writing skill of students.
Hopefully, after completing my master degree, I will be a lecturer to implement my knowledge and upgrade the quality of geotechnical engineering researches and if it is possible, the researches can give advice to related governmental institution.
Having acquainted with geotechnical engineering since 2013, my curiosity in this study is always rising. Realizing that infrastructure development in Indonesia should consider the complexity of its geology, improvement of this study is strongly needed. After I devote myself to pursue career in research and academic sector, chasing higher education will be not solely as my personal satisfaction. In-depth knowledge, both theoretical and practical will help me to develop related researches particularly about underground construction and tunneling in my home department and my country.
I believe that high passion and academic capabilities supported by practical experiences will build my enthusiasm during attending master degree program in geotechnical engineering focusing on underground construction and tunneling study in US.
Personal Statement (3)
My parent always taught me that everybody can be an agent of change. Surely with one condition that we should empower ourselves with knowledge and network so that we can empower other. This teaching inspires me to involve in social activities since my teenager. When I was in a boarding school in the mid-90s, I always passionate to actively involve within the student association. This spirit also aspired me to write about Human Responsibility towards the Environment According to the Quran as my final undergraduate thesis. Because I believe that environmental problems is an important thing to respond, and I may contribute a thought on this issue.
My interest in social activities has brought myself to involve in various development projects. Therefore in 2007 I joined a community-based Avian Influenza (AI) Control team conducted by Muhammadiyah in cooperation with the USAID. The project’s aim is to respond avian influenza (AI) outbreak that hit Indonesia since 2005 through community empowerment and campaign. My role as community outreach in the project has taught me that people’s perspective related to healthy is a crucial element to prevent an outbreak.
My journey continues in 2010 when I start to join tobacco control advocacy project. With a network of NGOs, health professional, and faith-based organizations, we have succeeded in developing some strategic regulations such as Government Regulation no. 109/2012 and Indonesian Tobacco Control Roadmap 2010-2025. This project is very important because tobacco use is one of the major challenges in public health that threatens human resource quality and poverty reduction. Indonesia is the third largest tobacco user in the world with more than 240 thousand people died annually. In an economic perspective, economic loss related tobacco use is very high, more than 378 trillion rupiahs.
Tobacco pandemic is also a threat to Indonesia’s resilience in the future. Predictably in 2020-2045 Indonesia will have the Demographic Dividend where dependent ratio reaches it the lowest number. The demographic dividend is an opportunity for Indonesia to improve economic level if it could prepare a high quality and productive generation. However, it could be a disaster if Indonesian youth is hooked to tobacco addiction and grow to be a vulnerable and unhealthy generation.
Up to now through Muhammadiyah as one of the biggest civil society organization in Indonesia, I still involved in advocating the government to accede the FCTC, raise tax and cigarette price and also to ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. However, tobacco control policy and implementation in Indonesia still need to be strengthened continuously.
Therefore I want to improve my understanding and skill in development theory and the use of theoretical and technical tools regarding policy analysis and project management hence I can build my credibility as a policy advocate and development expert. I am sure that academic exposure and willingness to be challenged will enable me more to contribute and influence within policymaking process in development issues. Apart from my commitment, I will also utilize my capacity by transferring my knowledge and perspective at my alma mater UIN Syarif Hidayatullah and Muhammadiyah Universities.