Who are you?
In my 30-ish years, I’ve worn many hats. I’m a wife, daughter and sister to the best family anyone could ask for, a former Fulbright ETA grantee (Morocco 2010-2011) and I’ve also taught Business English at Warsaw’s School of Economics. Currently, I am teaching English as a Second Language at Murray State University and Conversational English at EnglishONE in Madiun, Indonesia.
I graduated with a Masters in Linguistics with a TEFL certificate (Northeastern Illinois University) and I also have a Bachelors in Elementary Education (Loyola University Chicago). My research interests include second language acquisition, language variation, and the globalization of the English language.
The Husband, our cats and I have lived in the United States, Canada, Morocco, and Poland. When we aren’t living or traveling elsewhere, we’re in Chicago, USA.
You like to travel, huh? Where are you now?
We’re getting settled into our new home in rural, western TN, four miles from the KY border.
Why are you there?
After teaching English as a Foreign Language on two different continents, The Husband and I decided to head back to America for a bit.
I’m interested in applying for a Fulbright, too. Can you tell me about the application process?
It may seem intimidating at first, but if you are organized, it’s definitely manageable.
I started my application process by looking over the candidate profiles for countries I was interested in, and seeing which profiles fit me in terms of language ability, educational background and working experience.
I also spent a couple months talking to everyone I know about the Fulbright Program. Through these conversations, I learned that two of my professors had also been Fulbright recipients, and while I have no way to prove this, I feel that the letters of recommendation they each wrote on my behalf may have carried a little more weight due to their own Fulbright experiences.
In addition to talking about Fulbright for months, I dedicated an equal amount of time to thinking about my essays. Sure, I banged them out the night before I mailed off my application, but I spent a great deal of time planning them out in my head, in an outline, and in other pre-writing forms. I wouldn’t suggest waiting ’til the last minute like I did, unless you too need that deadline to really get cracking.
My university did not have a Fulbright Program Advisor, so I was forced to apply as an at-large candidate. Thankfully, it worked out for me, and I had less steps involved in my application process as a result, but having additional checkpoints can really help you fine tune your application.
Certain schools are known for producing high numbers of grantees, and these schools may or may not have workshops, binders full of winning essays, etc., for candidates to utilize in an effort to make their applications as well-prepared as possible. If you attend one of these schools, you are probably well aware of this. If you don’t, however, you may want to look into finding a way to access the school’s resources. Personally, I found that reading through the binders of winning essays was incredibly helpful in the initial planning stage.
I have more questions. Can I contact you directly?
Sure. Drop me a line at tracy [dot] i [dot] karim [at] gmail [dot] com.
I noticed your header picture. What is that?
One of my little goats, placed over one of my bath towels. Exciting stuff, eh?
I almost forgot – what’s up with the goats, anyway?
Before I started traveling much, I would send one of my tiny goats (the G.O.A.T.) with people who I knew would be traveling. I figured that if I couldn’t travel myself, I could at least send one of my kind and a disposable camera (yes, it was a long time ago!) in an effort to see more of the world. Friends were happy to oblige, and the resulting photo albums are nice reminders of their travels.
After marrying someone who is also interested in exploring more of the world around us, we decided to rent out our condo in Chicago and hit the road with our two cats. And because I don’t like to be without my herd, I take a few of my smaller goats with as well!