I am a U.S. Fulbright Scholar (Core) enjoying a six-month grant to teach at the University of Prishtina. During this period, I am on “developmental leave” (sabbatical) from my home university, Sam Houston State, in Huntsville, Texas. I arrived in Kosovo on January 18 and will depart on July 20. My grant extends slightly longer than the regular semester because I also am directing a play that will open and run during June.
I applied in August 2010 for a grant that began in January 2012. (This year-in-advance calendar is typical of international grants and their requisite clearances.) If you’d like to read my proposal, you may click here.
For the 2011-2012 academic year, three of us were awarded grants to Kosovo:
- Joe Rudolph, Political Science, American University in Kosovo (Fall 2011)
- Rich Raymond, English, University of Prishtina (Spring 2012)
- David McTier, Theatre, University of Prishtina (Spring 2012)
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, our grants cover fixed amounts for transportation, maintenance (room and board), and educational supplies as well as a modest stipend.
My grant is to teach (as opposed to research or teach and research). A typical week for me consists of 15 contact hours with (groups of) students:
- 3 hours: teaching Theory and Criticism for playwriting students on Thursday afternoons from 2:15 to 5:15
- 2 hours: presenting workshops for acting students on Fridays (mornings or afternoons)
- 10 hours: rehearsals Monday through Friday nights, usually 6:00-8:00 (or later)
I also have individual meetings with students, coordinating faculty members, and my translator. Of the three scholars, I am the only one with students who don’t all speak English, so I must have a translator; consequently, almost all of my educational supplies money has been earmarked for translation.
The bulk of my time, however, is spent preparing for these contact hours. Usually, I can count on 1-2 hours of prep time for each contact hour, thus resulting in a work week that quickly exceeds 40 hours.
In my remaining free time, I enjoy exploring the city and surrounds and writing this blog. Capitalizing on our holiday schedule, I’ve also managed a few long weekends for trips outside the country, all of which have been covered in previous posts.
Although there have been plenty of challenges and frustrations, the overall experience has been incredible. I love working with these students and am convinced that I have learned as much from them as they have from me.
You are welcome to visit my website for the Faculty of Arts at the University of Prishtina.