University of North Georgia (UNG) senior Cody Bijeaux has been selected for the prestigious Fulbright program, for which recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. He is the third UNG student to be selected in the past 12 months.
"UNG’s initiative for students to pursue nationally competitive scholarships is paying off with life-changing opportunities for them," said UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs. "The Fulbright program provides amazing experiences for international study."
The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program operates in more than 160 countries, and Bijeaux is one of only 1,900 people in the nation who will travel abroad for 10 months of the 2016-17 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright award includes support for round-trip transportation to the host country and funding to cover room, board and incidental costs.
As a Chinese major, Bijeaux started his studies at UNG in the Summer Language Institute and in the Corp of Cadets, where his participation in the ROTC Chinese Language Flagship programs helped advance him in his major. He has since received the Gilman International Scholarship, a congressionally-funded scholarship program for students studying or interning internationally; a Chinese Government Scholarship to study in China; and the Crupi Scholarship, designated to support cadet study abroad. He has studied abroad in China twice, once at Qinghua University in Beijing and once at Zhejiang Normal University in Jinhua.
"My time abroad helped me tremendously, and the great thing about the staff and faculty at UNG is that they help you as much as they can to get you abroad," Bijeaux said. "Every time I went abroad it was thanks to a scholarship that UNG staff helped me get."
After he graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese in May, Bijeaux will begin the Fulbright program with 10 months in Taiwan as a teaching assistant. He plans to work on his teaching skills, improve upon his mastery of Chinese and start studying other languages.
"Going to Taiwan is an amazing experience that I am fortunate to receive," Bijeaux said. "What fascinates me most about Chinese culture is how it focuses on the group rather than the individual, which is a drastic change from what I have experienced in the U.S."
Once he returns to the U.S., he plans to pursue a master’s degree in linguistics.
UNG senior Jennifer Hightower was selected as a Fulbright semi-finalist. In 2015, she was also a finalist for Truman Scholarship, regarded as the nation's premier public service scholarship.
Last year, UNG students Jacob Dietrich and Erika Evans were selected for the Fulbright program. Dietrich is studying tourism in Oman and Evans is teaching English in Russia.
Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and many other fields. Fifty-three Fulbright alumni from 12 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 82 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.