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This summer, participating in the Fulbright Summer Institute Contemporary Wales: Industry, Politics, Culture and Change, eight American undergraduates travelled throughout Wales, participated in the classroom and on the road with three internationally renowned Welsh universities (Cardiff, Bangor, and Aberystwyth Universities), and had the pleasure of being interviewed— and quizzed! — by BBC Radio Wales.
Over the course of six weeks, the Fulbright programme brought these eight exceptional students (Marie Hanewinckel, Gabrielle Lachtrup, Ethan Muehlstein, Lindsey Schroth, Katherine Street, Shelby Thomas, Devin Tomson-Moylan, and Josh Waltjer) from all over the United States to take part in one of nine Fulbright Summer Institutes currently operating across the United Kingdom. Each Fulbright Summer Institute is themed according to the unique strengths and cultures of each region and university (or group of universities), and the students were delighted to be brought on as guests for BBC presenter Jason Mohammed’s Radio Wales show. Affording them a behind the scenes look at radio production, the first meeting had all eight students chiming in and responding to questions that ranged from the Fulbright programmes to why they chose Wales in particular.
Later, Gabrielle Lachtrup and Devin Tomson-Moylan represented the group when they returned to the airwaves. Reflecting on their time in Wales and their personal highlights, they spoke a bit of Welsh, and revisited the first quiz. Lachtrup, a sophomore at Mt. Holyoke College, said of her experience on the BBC, “I was very glad that the Fulbright Commission was able to coordinate two interview times with BBC Wales. In particular, I enjoyed having the chance to see the ‘inner workings’ of a radio station. Both of our interviewers were great, and I was excited to find that I had learned something about Wales in my six weeks.”
Tomson-Moylan, a junior at Carleton College, added, “Having the opportunity to be interviewed about the Wales Fulbright Summer Institute not once, but twice, on BBC Radio Wales was a fantastic experience. The initial interview in the Cardiff studio gave the eight of us a chance to demonstrate our prior knowledge and made us even more eager for the next five weeks of our journey throughout Wales. The culminating interview in Aberystwyth was a wonderful chance to reflect on everything that had we learned; I was certainly proud with how we performed in the final Wales trivia quiz. It was an enjoyable bonding experience for Gabrielle and me to be able to share with the radio listeners a bit about the amazing time that we had over our six weeks studying as part of the 2013 Wales Fulbright Summer Institute."
A Cardiff University spokesperson added: "The Fulbright Summer Institute blends academic learning with cultural experiences and introduces the scholars to the people and locations that have made Wales such a diverse and distinctive country. We're delighted that they enjoyed their visit and look forward to welcoming more Fulbright scholars to Wales in the future."
Listen to the BBC Wales programming (Jason Mohammad, BBC Radio Wales):