Morocco has held a special place in Yasmine Shereen’s heart ever since she traveled there as a teenager while her mom was conducting research. Now, she will be following in her mom’s footsteps and returning to Morocco for her own research endeavor.
Shereen ‘08 is a Cal State Fullerton alumna and anthropology instructor at San Bernardino Valley College. While teaching at SBVC, Yasmine realized that she hadn’t had the opportunity to do research in a while and considered going abroad.
At first, she was unsure. She didn’t qualify for the same program her mom had, the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, because she didn’t have a Ph.D. “I wasn’t aware of the diversity of grants available,” she recalls. “I thought it was only something for people with Ph.Ds.”
Determined to find other options, Shereen continued searching on Fulbright’s website and came across their U.S. Student Program. Initially she was misled by the title, thinking she wouldn’t qualify for this program either.
“As I read through the U.S. Student Program website, however, I realized that I did qualify!” she says. “You don’t technically have to be a student. You can already have your bachelor’s or master’s.”
Shereen also contacted Shari Merrill, associate director of CSUF Study Abroad and Global Engagement (SAGE), who confirmed that she qualified for the student program. With that, she decided to apply for a Fulbright award to Morocco.
Not only did she apply for this country because of her fond memories from living there as a teenager, but also because of her anthropology background. “From the perspective of anthropology, a lot of important fieldwork has been done in Morocco,” she explains. “It’s a very interesting site for anthropological research, it’s rich in cultural diversity, and it has an amazing history and heritage.”
After making it through the application process, Shereen finally received an offer letter in March 2023 congratulating her on being selected. This makes her the first Fulbright U.S. Student Program finalist for CSUF since 2014.
What are her plans for Morocco? As a cultural anthropologist, she will be conducting ethnographic research in affiliation with the International University of Rabat. “I want to take this research and create educational materials, specifically for Open Education Resources (OER),” she says. “I’m hoping that will permit ongoing collaborations and intercultural exchange between American and Moroccan students, as well as American and Moroccan professors.”
Shereen encourages others to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. “Even if you’re not a student, but you’re a professional with a master’s degree, you can still apply. Applying is great practice in itself as it requires you to craft a proposal and therefore learn how to present and refine your research goals and how to execute them.”
She concludes by sharing, “In our increasingly globalized world, gaining international experience and expanding one’s perspective has endless benefits and applications.
“The time spent abroad will reverberate throughout one’s professional and personal life, manifesting previously unseen or inaccessible opportunities and enhancing one’s capacity to understand and navigate a large, complex yet progressively connected and interdependent world.”
Applications for the Fulbright 2024-2025 grant period are now open. To apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, click here.
CSUF Study Abroad and Global Engagement is a fully integrated part of CSUF Extension and International Programs (EIP). To learn more about CSUF EIP, click here.