Sherif al-Qallawi on the Fulbright Scholarship

Sherif al-Qallawi (TwitterLinkedIn) is a PhD candidate at Florida Tech. In this episode, Sherif explains what the Fulbright Scholarship is and how it can change the lives and work of IO psych grads and graduate students.


This is an AI-enabled transcript and may not be completely accurate. Please do not quote myself or any of my guests based on this transcript.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.  00:00

And welcome back to the Department 12 Podcast. I’m your host, as always, Dr. Ben Butina. I recently had a chance to have a truly fascinating conversation with a truly fascinating guy.

Sherif al-Qallawi  00:11

My name is Sherif al-Qallawi, I am a fourth year PhD student at Florida tech in the I-O program, and I have recently passed my comps so now I’m officially a PhD candidate and I live in Melbourne, Florida.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.  00:25

You’re going to hear a lot from Sharif over the next few weeks. But I wanted to start with this short episode on the Fulbright Scholarship. Now if you’re anything like me, you’ve heard about the Fulbright scholarship but you don’t really know what it is. So I asked Sharif to help us out.

Sherif al-Qallawi  00:41

So the Fulbright scholarship is a scholarship that is provided by the Department of State in the US in cooperation with other entities around the world. So for me, I had a binational Fulbright committee that was in cooperation between the US Department of State and Egyptian counterparts.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.  01:02

So the Fulbright is a way for either U.S. students to go abroad or for non-U.S. students like Sharif to come to the U.S. It all started in 1945, right after World War Two. We still had a lot of money set aside for the war, but now the war was over. Senator J. William Fulbright from Arkansas thought we should spend some of that money to prevent future wars by promoting international goodwill through student exchange programs. As Sharif can tell you, the Fulbright can change lives.

Sherif al-Qallawi  01:31

The most remarkable thing about it is that you meet a lot of different nationalities and you become friends with people who you didn’t know and countries that you didn’t hear about before. So what I want to say is that it provides you with a very international experience in itself. You do not just go and study at this new country and learn about the language but you also get to learn about the cultures of other fellow students who are taking the same scholarship with you. So you are provided with workshops and education and development activities in which you meet people from around the globe who are also interested in studying at the master’s degree or maybe at a PhD degree in other places.And you share your passion for learning and for being global citizens who can be future leaders in any country. So this is a common experience.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.  02:28

So, if you’re a recent college graduate, or a graduate student who missed out on the opportunity to study abroad, Sharif highly recommends looking into the Fulbright.

Sherif al-Qallawi  02:38

I strongly recommend it to anyone who didn’t get a chance to study abroad for even a small amount of time because studying abroad cannot be substituted by any other experience. It gives you a lot of international exposure, extends your mindset to accommodate a lot of other cultures and other ways that people live. And you get inspiration from what you learn there and how others think about the same issues that you have in your country and how can you learn from you from their experiences. And how can you be helpful to them, too, so you can build a bigger network of international schools who are interested in studying your area, and to be more effective in dealing with the issue that is in your field.

Ben Butina, Ph.D.  03:28

I believe that cross cultural exchange is one of the next great frontiers for I-O psychology. Work just isn’t the same from place to place and a lot of what we think we know from studying North American and Western European work cultures can’t be generalized to workplaces in other countries. In the next episode, Sharif will share some of his thoughts on the differences between work in the US and work in Egypt. I found it fascinating and I hope you’ll tune in. Thanks for listening!