Salah Fokra- July 2020 Alumnus of the Month


Fulbright was a horizon-opening experience for me both culturally and professionally. It was this experience that made me confidently consider teaching and academic life as a career path. The 'Fulbright effect' also exposed me to cultures from all corners of the globe."

My life before Fulbright: Before Fulbright I had just completed my master's degree in linguistics from the University of London. I was in a dilemma whether to go back home, or to remain in the UK and seek further work and studies. During that last year of six years in the UK, I was exploring future career options.

Why Fulbright? I felt that Fulbright would be putting the theory into practice. I had gained two degrees from a foreign country, but had little work experience. So Fulbright seemed the most appealing option back then, and rightly so.

One highlight from your Fulbright experience: My Fulbright experience was full of academic and cultural highlights, but probably the most outstanding experience was receiving help from a total stranger in renting a van that we had been struggling to do for three days in order to tour around the USA. That lady decided to rent the van for our group using her own credit card despite being ignorant about who we were. The story even got published in a local newspaper.    

A source of inspiration: Every person can be a source of inspiration from a different perspective. However, the faculty at Drury University were really the ones who struck me the most in their hospitality and professionalism, particularly Profesor Jeff Vandenberg, in his kindness and warm welcoming.

An insight from my work: I teach English as a foreign language at one of the top high schools in the country, Al-Bashaer School for Science in Sakhnin. I also am a Lecturer and Pedagogical Guide in the English Department at Sakhnin College for Teacher Education and an Instructor of English for academic purposes at the Open University of Israel.​​​​​​ I am finishing my doctorate now at the University of Haifa. I literally just finished writing my PhD dissertation in sociolinguistics.

What’s on your horizon? Once I get my PhD dissertation approved, I am planning to spend a year in a post-doctorate program in Israel or abroad.