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28 Sep 2015

University of York welcomes Fulbright scholars

The first of four American scholars to enrol at the University of York on the prestigious Fulbright programme has arrived to begin her studies.

The University has more Fulbright scholars attending this academic year than any other UK institution.

In total, 70 American citizens will arrive in the UK on exchange to study, lecture or carry out research.

Emily Parrent flew in from near Chicago to take up her place at York studying for a Master’s in Medieval Studies.

The three other scholars include two academic staff and an elementary school teacher from California who is here as part of the Distinguished Awards in Teaching Programme.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission was created by treaty on 22 September 1948. It offers grants at postgraduate and postdoctoral level for study in any discipline and at any accredited institution in the US and UK, as well as a number of special exchanges programmes for shorter projects or for younger scholars.

The programme’s aim is “to generate a deeper understanding of the differing cultures and peoples of the world” as described by the late Senator J William Fulbright.

Prominent alumni of the programme include poet Sylvia Plath, former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, journalist and author Toby Young and the economist and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman.

Miss Parrent, 22, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she majored in Classical Civilization and French and Italian Studies.

She has a special interest in the history of mental illnesses in medieval society and hopes to eventually pursue a career in academia.

She said: “York is a beautiful city and everyone has been very welcoming. I’m honoured to be able to call it my home for the next year.

“York has a thriving tourism industry and a lot of that is focused on its rich medieval past, which provides an incredible, unique opportunity for bridging academic and volunteer work in my field.”

Penny Egan, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said: “I know our 2015 cohort will do us great credit during their time in the UK and beyond.

“They will make wonderful ambassadors for the programme, fulfilling Senator Fulbright’s vision of a world brought closer together through academic exchange.”

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