University News

WIU Student Selected for Fulbright Program

April 8, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- Josh Wood, a Western Illinois University economics graduate student, has parlayed his study abroad experiences from his undergraduate years at Western into a Fulbright Scholarship.

Wood, of Rockland, MA, recently was selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. He will teach English in South Korea for 12 months during the 2013-2014 academic year. According to Emily Gorlewski, assistant director of Western's study abroad office and WIU Fulbright adviser, Wood is the first WIU student in six years to be named to the Fulbright Student Program.

During his time as an undergraduate economics student, Wood spent one semester each in Japan and South Korea. He has also served as president of Western's Ambassadors for Study Abroad (WASA) organization. As a Fulbright Student Program recipient, Wood will receive round trip transportation, funding to cover room, board and cost of living and health benefits.

"I'm excited to return to Korea on the Fulbright Program to teach English in context to high school students from the perspective of a variety of lesson topics that I enjoy, from American history and basic economics to film and literature. Many Koreans I've met are quite proficient in reading and writing in English, but often lack the experience talking to native speakers to engage comfortably
in casual conversation despite having much to share," Wood said. "I hope to help these students build some of that experience while helping them pursue their own interests."

In 2012, nearly 300 individuals applied to serve as an English teaching assistant in South Korea through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Eighty grants for South Korea were awarded. Overall, 4,593 applications were received in 2012, with 890 Fulbright Student English teaching assistantship grants awarded for Asia, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Near East and North Africa and Europe. Selection is based on the quality of the applicant's proposal, academic/professional record, personal qualifications, language preparation and Fulbright-specific preference factors.

"Josh is certainly an exceptional student, with an excellent academic record and two semesters studying abroad. I hope his being awarded this prestigious scholarship will serve as an example to other WIU students, and a reminder that our students can be real contenders for these grants," Gorlewski added. "We wish Josh all the best for his year in South Korea."

Undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying for Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants (English teaching assistantships, study/research, travel and more), should contact Gorlewski at or (309) 298-2504. For more information on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, visit

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