Luma with Pakistani Scholars at Center for International Development
Friday, December 4, 2015
Fulbright Student Provides Exchange for Others
From June-July 2015, I had the opportunity to work at Ball State University’s Center for International Development (CID) in Muncie, Indiana, as a team member on its partnership program with the University of Quaid-i-Azam in Islamabad, Pakistan. The goal of the partnership is to foster understanding and cultural growth, as well as to raise the capacity of the Area Study Center at QAU (which is focused on English studies).
My role was planning and implementing a visit to Ball State University and New York City for Pakistani scholars, as a culmination of the three-year partnership. First, I served on the screening and selection process, which required a deep understanding of the requirements of the program. Then I helped establish the criteria for selection, develop the six week itinerary, and liaise with the students prior to and during the program.
Day trip to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Muncie
I am very proud to have been a part of this initiative, as it was an enriching experience for myself and the students. In fact, I was really impressed by the Pakistani scholars’ pride and great sense of humor. They were very passionate about educating students in Indiana about their own values and beliefs. Also, they successfully bridged the gap between the two cultures and showed a level of religious and cultural tolerance that was admirable.
“They successfully bridged the gap between the two cultures.” – Luma reflecting on her Pakistani scholars.
Cultural excursion to Times Square
The Fulbright Program made working at the CID and witnessing the exchange journeys of these students possible. I was grateful to have the unique opportunity to apply my cross-cultural and interpersonal skills learned during my time as a Fulbright Foreign Student. In addition, it was a formative experience to collaborate with CID staff whose expertise was focused on peace studies, conflict studies, and international relations/diplomacy.
Luma Bashmi is a Bahraini student studying Psychological Research at California State University, Long Beach. Luma hopes to found a psychological research lab in Bahrain that will facilitate the study of public health and public policy phenomena.