February 25, 2022

Applying for fellowships and other post-graduate opportunities can be time-consuming work, but it’s worth it, several Susquehanna grads said, for the chance to have life-changing experiences.

Luke Duceman ’18 is currently in Costa Rica on an English Teaching Assistantship through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

“It’s a long process but I think it’s well worth the time,” Duceman said.

Duceman knows a thing or two about the Fulbright application process. His current award is his third bite at the Fulbright apple after being named a finalist and winning the award for the 2019-20 academic year. After only two months in Costa Rica, he was forced to return to the United States in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“I suffered from big imposter syndrome. I wondered if I should be applying again, I didn’t want to waste my references’ time,” Duceman said. “But I wanted to give back to the country that made me fall in love with it and its people.”

Hana Feiner ’17, who works as the director of business development for PatientWing, connects patients to clinical trials. Feiner was matched with PatientWing through her fellowship with Venture For America, which pairs recent college graduates with a startup in an emerging U.S. city with the goal of sparking job growth by sending top-talent to help grow new businesses. Hannah Kelly-Quigley ’20 recently completed a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to virtually study Chinese and Nicole Grace ’21 is in the midst of an English language teaching assistant position at the Académie de Rennes in Brittany, France.

All four alums stressed the importance of applying to multiple opportunities to increase the chances of success.

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, definitely apply for more things,” Kelly-Quigley said. “If you are declined for one opportunity, it might be a case of timing, or the competition might be particularly tough that year. By having multiple options, you have the ability to choose and you’re not limited.”

“And you could open the door to a lot more opportunities,” Feiner added.

Susquehanna University has a dedicated program in place to identify and nurture potential scholarship applicants. In addition to Cultural Vistas, Susquehanna students have also received the following coveted scholarship awards over the past few years:

  • AmeriCorps
  • FAIT (Foreign Affairs Information Technology) Fellowship
  • Fulbright
  • Gilman
  • Peace Corps
  • TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France)