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Fulbright US Student Program - Online Croatian Language Course
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Hannah Kendig

Hannah Kendig

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Political Science and Economics
Minor: French
Hometown: Monroeville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have known of the Fulbright program for some time, and I wanted the opportunity to travel and research after I graduated.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have applied for a research grant to work at the University of Zagre, Croatia’s capital. Choosing a feasible topic and country that I wanted to live in was a challenge, however, I contacted many of my Political Science professors and my Liberal Arts mentor to aid in the process. I decided to study ethnic fractionalization and the effect on election outcomes in Croatia through data and regression analysis. 

My mentor connected me with one of his co-workers who was familiar with Croatia and made my application that much stronger. From here, I began to revise my statement of grant purpose and personal statement, and was fortunate to receive a letter of affiliation from a contact through a graduate student at Penn State.  Throughout this application process, I learned a considerable amount about a part of the world I was unfamiliar with, as well as made contacts with people who could help me with my career.

“The 5-month long process of designing a research project and submitting an application has been a learning experience unlike anything I have done before.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

This gave me the practice of how to pursue my own research interests, and it gave me a realistic idea of what it would be like to pursue a thesis for graduate level work. Applying for a Fulbright grant put into application the analytical and communicating skills that I have gained in my Political Science and Economics courses, and I see how the tools that I have gained as a student at Penn State relate to the type of work I am interested in pursuing.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend other Liberal Arts students to apply for a Fulbright research grant. The application process alone has been a learning opportunity to work with Penn State faculty and other connections about how to pursue my goals and to make use of the skills I have gained as a student.

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