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Each year, many college graduates roam the globe with knapsacks on their backs in celebration of the culmination of their undergraduate experience. Traveling around the world, post-commencement, melds adventure and carefree fun into a tradition that is all too familiar. But for two Azusa Pacific University alumni, the journey promises to be a truly uncommon experience.

In spring 2004, Daniel Cotoi ’03 and Caleb Kim ’04 joined the ranks of scholars around the world engaging in educational and cultural exchange through the assistance of Fulbright Scholar grants. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program selected the 2 APU alumni from among 4,500 applicants to receive grants to travel and study abroad. The 2004-05 APU participants – chosen for their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership – are among nearly 2,000 annual award recipients in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“We are especially pleased that two APU students have been tapped to be Fulbright Scholars for the second year in a row,” said Diane J. Guido, Ph.D., vice provost for undergraduate programs at APU. “These students have learned throughout their time at APU that intercultural competencies are of paramount importance in today’s world. As Fulbright Scholars, they serve as cultural ambassadors for the United States as they live, travel, and study abroad.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, in existence for 57 years, offers scholarship opportunities for recent graduates, postgraduate candidates, and developing professionals and artists to conduct career-launching study and research abroad. According to a study by SRI International, Fulbright participants experience a deeper understanding of their host country and heightened awareness of social and cultural diversity.

Cotoi, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Biology, will spend 10 months in Romania. While there, he plans to study philosopher Lucien Blaga, a key figure in Romanian philosophy and culture. He intends to further this research in pursuit of a master’s degree and Ph.D. when he returns.

Kim applied his skills to teach English in Korea for 13 months. A graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, he plans to use this experience to prepare him for future endeavors teaching English as a foreign language throughout the Eastern Hemisphere.