Salve Regina University in Newport RI Welcomes Fulbright Fellows
NEWPORT – Two women, one French and the other Argentine, are teaching and studying at Salve Regina University this year as part of the Fulbright program.
Led by the United States government in partnership with more than 160 countries around the world, the Fulbright program, according to its website, “provides international educational and cultural exchange programs for students, academics, artists, teachers and professionals. from all walks of life passionate and accomplished to study. , teach or pursue important research and professional projects. “
The two women arrived during Tropical Storm Henri, the wind blowing across campus and fallen tree branches. Their first night at school was an adventurous one, but when the sun broke through their windows the next day and they stepped out onto the grounds of their new home, Newport took their breath away.
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Laury Vandenterghem, 23, flew to Boston from France to find that her suitcase had not arrived with her. She took a bus to Providence, where she and the other Fulbright scholar, Ana Paula Silva Uliarte, were picked up by their supervisor.
âWhen we were in her car and she took us home to the university, it was raining,â Vandenterghem said. “It was raining really hard, trees were falling, electricity was lacking in parts of the state, so it really wasn’t a good day for meâ¦ it was a bit difficult at first.”
The storm caused flight delays for Uliarte, from the San Juan Desert, Argentina. Uliarte said she was not sure she would arrive on time, but she did. When she saw Newport the next day, the difficulty of her trip was well worth it.
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âThe rain had stopped and I could see this green, and all around the house was the greenest green I had ever seen and the mansions that were near the house. It was so amazing,â Uliarte . “So we came to a complicated time, but after the storm it was like magic. It was perfect. It was beautiful.”
Two days after his arrival, Vandenterghem received his suitcase. âI have to admit it was a really tough start but I’ve been here for almost a month now and can say I really enjoy it here,â she said.
Since arriving in Newport, the two students have had a great time exploring their campus and its surroundings.
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Once selected for the Fulbright program, researchers are given a list of five schools to choose from by rank. Vandenterghem said her first choice was Salve Regina University, because of its location and because she was fascinated by John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States with ties to Massachusetts and Newport.
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When she was in college, Vandenterghem said that she was interested in working in Hollywood and then wanted to do an exchange program, but it was too expensive and she could not speak or understand English. .
âI decided to focus on English, so when I went to high school I graduated with an emphasis on English and the liberal arts,â she said. “I had given up on the fact that I wanted to work in film, and now I wanted to work in a field that would allow me to speak English.”
When Vandenterghem went to university, she studied foreign languages ââwith an emphasis on English for her bachelor’s degree. She did a three-year internship teaching English to high school kids and realized that teaching wasn’t her thing, so she ended up earning a Masters in American Cultural Studies.
âI feel like I didn’t want to be a high school teacher, but wanted to do something in education, maybe in a different environment, so I thought about museum education, and that so is what I always want to do, “she said.
She graduated in May after completing her Masters thesis, focusing on Kennedy in Film, and applied to the Fulbright program. Vandenterghem chose Newport because of the opportunity it would give her to explore some of the Kennedy-related sites, and she has visited several before.
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âI’ve been to St. Mary’s Church before. I took a picture of John F. Kennedy’s picture in front of the church, so this is something I really wanted to do, and I got it. plan to go and try and see Hammersmith Farm, “Vandenterghem said.” I know it’s privately owned but it was Jackie Kennedy’s house when she was a kidâ¦ I’m also planning on going to Hyannis Port and Cape Cod, because I know it’s one of the places the Kennedys lived when they weren’t in Washington DC
âAnd, more importantly, I’m going to Boston to go to the library and the museum, which I admit is my dream job. I would love to work there in the future,â he said. she declared. “I don’t know what the future holds for me, but it would be my dream job.”
She is also planning a trip to Virginia to visit JFK’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery during the Thanksgiving vacation.
One of the aspects of the program that Vandenterghem enjoys the most is being a cultural ambassador for France while she’s here in the United States, and then when she returns to France, being a cultural ambassador for the United States.
âIt’s something that I really get along with. It’s something that I liked and it’s something that I envisioned for myself,â she said.
From the desert to the city by the sea
In Argentina, Uliarte is an English teacher. When she was in college, she met a Fulbright student in college, and from that point on, she knew she wanted to participate in the program.
This year, she was accepted, Salve being her first choice. She chose the Newport school for two reasons: because of its location and the language programs offered by the school. Also, because the city is beautiful.
âWhen I made my decision, I looked at photos of Newport and it was beautiful,â Uliarte said. âThe combination of the ocean, mansions, vegetation, everything was perfect. I couldn’t believe a place like this existed, so that’s one of the reasons I chose this as the first option in the rankings. And luckily they picked me too, which is why I came to Newport. “
One of the things Uliarte has experienced since arriving in Newport is how kind and supportive everyone has been to her. She said she has felt comfortable since arriving.
âThey are always trying to find ways to solve things or situations that maybe are complicated. I love it,â she said. “The attitude of the people here, they are trying to help, they are trying to find solutions instead of focusing on the problems.”
At school, Uliarte takes a course on the American Civil War.
âI’m starting to learn more about American culture,â she said. “In the past, I knew about the Civil War because I heard about it when I was studying at university, but I couldn’t study the subject in depth.”
She’s also happy to be here to learn more about mansions and other aspects of American culture.
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“The personal, social, professional experience here, and also cultural (…) will give me a lot of food for thought and to compare cultures”, said Uliarte. âI applied to the Fulbright program because I wanted to have this experience. Because I am a teacher, I wanted to experience the education system from the inside out, make the most of it, and use what I learn in my own classroom. “
One thing Uliarte hopes she will learn from her time as a Fulbright scholar is the areas she needs to improve in her own practice and make improvements in her class in Argentina.
Teaching is something Uliarte is passionate about because she has said that one of the best things someone can do for another person is to teach them things.
“Showing off what you know with people who don’t know is something great that we can do, and I love the idea of ââsharing knowledge, so that’s my little contribution to this world to share things. that I know, âshe said. “I also think that being a teacher is a big responsibility, being in front of a class …
âBeing a teacher and being in a position where you can influence other people (and) motivate students is a big responsibility, and I want to do it in the best possible way. I think this experience will help me develop my skills. teaching practice, and I hope I can be a better teacher in the future, a better colleague, a better person afterwards. “
For Uliarte, being in Newport is like discovering a whole new world.
Bethany Brunelle can be reached at [email protected] 907-575-8528 or @bethanyfreuden1 on Twitter, Insta: bethanyfreudenthal, TikTok: thehijabicrimereporter, Muckrack: https://muckrack.com/bethany-freudenthal