SLU-Madrid's Fulbrighters in Taiwan and Mexico
Two SLU-Madrid graduates reflect on their experience as Fulbright scholarship recipients as they live, work and discover themselves in a new culture.
Among the seven Fulbright scholarships awarded to Saint Louis University students, two were awarded to students who completed their degrees at the Madrid Campus: Allie Biscupski (International Business & Economics, '22) and Paige Giarmona (Political Science & Economics, '21).
Biscupski received the Binational Internship in Mexico City. "It has been a long-term goal of mine to work in Latin America, specifically Mexico," she said. She is working at Miranda Partners and is also pursuing master's courses at ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México).
She reflected on how SLU-Madrid helped prepare her for her current experience: her program "gave me experience working with people from different cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds." She also commented on how her fluency in Spanish helps her connect with her Mexican colleagues.
Giarmona was a 2020 Fulbright semi-finalist bound for Malaysia. Due to the pandemic, the program was canceled. Giarmona applied again in 2022 and was sent to P'ingtung, Taiwan.
"I aspire to work in foreign service representing the U.S.," she said. "A Fulbright grant presents such a unique opportunity to dig into my host community and to explore this person-to-person diplomacy ... I am tremendously excited to foster connections with my students through teaching, which has been such a rewarding passion of mine for years."
Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected through a merit-based competition that considers academics, personal qualifications, language preparation, and the quality of the proposed project, as well as how it fits into Fulbright's aim of promoting mutual understanding among nations.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program, run by the U.S. Department of State, has supported more than 400,000 participants. The award today supports travel to more than 160 countries to study, do research, or teach English.