headshot of Jonathan Rosenthal

Jonathan Rosenthal

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Jonathan Rosenthal traveled to France for a Fulbright. To celebrate Fulbright alumni at Illinois State, he recounts his days in the program and the impact it made. #Fulbright@ISU #FulbrightPrgrm

Describe your Fulbright project.
My Fulbright was spent teaching English and American Studies in Clermont-Ferrand (France).  My year immeasurably deepened my understanding of what the French sometimes call la France profonde, rural France rarely seen by tourists (and many French).  I never taught French or French “civilization” the same way again.

Travel can be referred to as the gift of the unexpected. What was the most unexpected thing you saw or experienced?
Aside from (or perhaps because of) tripoux (look it up) and kidneys in mustard cream, I learned just how American I was.

Have you returned to the country where you served your Fulbright award? Had it changed? Had you changed?
Many times.  The world is, alas, flatter… particularly if you can’t spend the time (or have the inclination) to see beyond the surface.

What do you most wish people could understand about the Fulbright experience?
That it’s your chance to wake up and experience the other.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for Fulbright?
Just do it.