(Posted May 12, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Michael Fisher, who graduated from Juniata College in December, will spend 10 months in Germany teaching English in the German school system as part of a Padagogischer Austauschdienst Teaching Assistantship/Fulbright Grant awarded by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Fisher, the son of Clark Fisher and Trish McGee, both of York, Pa., is part of a program that sends more than 1,000 students abroad to study at foreign universities and sites. He will be assigned to teach at a German secondary school.

"I think study abroad should be a requirement for all college students."

Michael Fisher, 2008 Juniata graduate

"I had been looking for an opportunity to return to Germany after I studied abroad there," explains Fisher, who studied international politics and German at Juniata. "My experience studying abroad was very inspiring, a life-changing thing. I think study abroad should be a requirement for all college students."

Fisher studied abroad for the entire 2005-2006 academic year at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. He also traveled to The Gambia, a West African country bordered almost entirely by Senegal, during a summer 2005 international experience.

Fisher began his Juniata college career as an athlete, competing on the college's men's volleyball team through his sophomore year. After an injury, he decided to pursue other interests. He became very active as a ceramic artist, serving as president of the student ceramics club, the Mud Junkies, in fall 2007. One of his pieces, a teapot, was accepted into a juried competition in March, the Regional Student Juried Exhibition, sponsored by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 290,000 participants worldwide with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. In the past 56 years, 100,000 students from the United States have benefited from the Fulbright experience.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Financial support is provided by an annual appropriation from Congress to the Department of State, with significant contributions from participating governments and host institutions in the United States and abroad. The presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board formulates policy guidelines and makes the final selection of all grantees.

The Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. Student Program, including an annual competition for the scholarships.

The Fulbright Program also awards grants to American teachers and faculty to do research, lecture and teach overseas. In addition, some 2,200 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, carry out research and lecture at U.S. universities, colleges and secondary schools.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.