Home country is a source of pride for every person and the chance to contribute to it brings immense joy to one’s life.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States.
Here is the story of Tayyab Anwar, a Fulbright Scholar who learned a lot from the program and is now aiming to benefit his nation with it!
Key Takeaways from the Interview
- About Tayyab Anwar
- Major achievements
- The selection process for Fulbright Scholarship
- How did Tayyab achieve success?
- His experience as a Fulbright Scholar
- A small word of advice from Tayyab to the future aspirants
- Could you tell us about yourself?
I am 28 years old and currently pursuing a Masters’s degree from the University of Southern California. I love traveling and interacting with people. The first time I left my country was to go to the USA and I spent 22 months there. During that time, I visited 23 states. I also got a chance to see Mexico, which was an amazing visit. I also tried my best to make as many non-Pakistani friends as I could. Being a graduate student, it was not easy, but I got to know a lot of wonderful people from all across the world, many of whom I am still in touch with today!
I actively participated in USC’s Interfaith Council, which is a great community that helps you connect you with people based on similarities in your faith, or lack thereof.
In my younger years, I loved being on the stage! I have acted professionally, participated in debates and declamations, and also did a lot of dancing. These days, time is a crunch so I can’t do these things as much as I’d like but prior to this, I have always tried to keep the artist in me satisfied.
- Can you tell us about your achievements?
I am a Fulbright scholar. My time at USC didn’t have any out-standing academic accomplishments. I passed with good grades, and that was enough for me. When I was going there, I had decided that I would give enough time to forming meaningful relationships and enjoying different things rather than just focusing on my grades, that is where the trade-off was!
Before this, I was an Academic gold medalist, and have won several All-Pakistan Declamation competitions, as well as professional awards at my work-place.
- Can you explain to our readers the application process for the Fullbright Scholarship?
The application process consists of the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) tests, and two statements: a personal statement/statement of purpose, and a statement of study/research objectives.
Once shortlisted, there’s an interview that intends to identify your path as a Fulbright Scholar and the impact you want to make on your return. The Pakistani Fulbright program has a less than 10% acceptance rate!
- Why do you think you were selected for this scholarship?
I think I stood out as one of the very few applicants who was focused on Machine Learning and did well in highlighting how we can leverage the advancement in this field to directly benefit the common citizen of Pakistan.
- Can you tell us about your experience as a Fullbright Scholar?
My time in the USA is one of the most memorable times of my life. It was the first time I was exposed to a foreign academics system. It was quite challenging to fly halfway across the world and drop into a cut-throat competition of skill and academic prowess. I got to learn a lot! It showed me how much room for improvement we have in our educational systems back home, and how much more potential we can create in our own country if we make industry and academia work hand in hand.
It also gave me a chance to see some more of the world. I traveled around the USA and got a chance to visit Mexico, a place I otherwise never imagined I could visit!
- Is there any advice you would like to give to future aspirants?
The aim, always, should be to pursue things that benefit your country!
Fulbright and its selection process are shaped to make sure you have a plan to give back to your homeland once you’re done with your studies. I think that is extremely important – the program is one of a kind because it doesn’t just help individual scholars, but also makes sure it helps the country where the scholars belong.
That was the amazing and inspiring story of Tayyab Anwar. Not only does he embrace the beauty of life through his experiences, but is also determined to contribute his potential to his nation.
We encourage all our readers to stop worrying, live life to the fullest, and try to help those around you while embarking on your journey!