Archive for August, 2011

Mark Sueyoshi, Indonesia, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Here are Mark’s final thoughts on his time in Indonesia:

Two years ago I found myself overlooking the United Nations’ New York headquarters listening to past recipients and some Fulbright admission staff. Students tuned in via video conference from across the country to ask in countless ways, “How do I get a Fulbright Fellowship?” Boy was it intimidating especially with the array of Ivy League alum and undergraduates. After endless revisions, with the help of Ms. Newman of the Scholarship Office, I was flying into the Jakarta airport in Indonesia ready to start my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

 The year passed so quickly I can hardly believe I lived in Indonesia for 9 months. I learned so much from my teaching experience in Indonesia – how to get students excited about learning, how to present to an audience, and how much opportunity my students could gain from learning English. I even had opportunities to conduct English language seminars at major universities in Indonesia. Outside of the classroom I was able to join local groups that enhanced my experience ten-fold. Imagine trail running 5km through rice paddies, forests, mountains and rivers in a group that ranged from 10 – 20 runners; or late-night individualized pencak silat (Indonesian martial arts) training sessions at a master’s home; or bicycling through the streets of Jakarta on weekends or cycling across the island of Java for charity. I was able to do most of this while fulfilling the Fulbright mission as a cultural representative of the United States. I couldn’t quite cycle across Java – I only made it 1/3 of the way and had to stop preemptively for medical reasons.

Sure, the Fulbright application process was long and arduous, but the rewards are worth so much more than the invested time and effort.  I wish my former students luck and encourage them to work hard to attain their dreams. For you future UCI Fulbrighters, believe in your credentials and abilities, and listen to Ms. Newman. You may just find yourself inspiring young lives during the week and chasing sea turtles on the weekends.

Selamat Jalan!
(Safe Journeys)