Fulbright asked me to write a short piece on how my Fulbright experience affected the writing of my stories, and–as I took it–my development as a writer. Though the Fulbright was only one year, I stayed nearly 10 years in Whitehorse, Yukon, and go back frequently. The north deeply affected my writing, and helped develop me as a writer.
In this piece, I encourage people to open themselves, become vulnerable, to another culture–whether it’s a short trip or a long immersion. Culture, you’re soaking in it.
Be Transformed is up on the Fulbright blog.
For those who aren’t aware of Fulbright–they are a program that allows for an exchange of scholars to different countries. I went to the far north of Canada. (I was once loudly laughed at during a phone interview by a prospective college who was looking at my application to become their professor. They wondered why I bothered getting a Fulbright to Canada. As if we all have the money to skip across the border and stay for nine months–or as if Canada has nothing to teach us. Believe me, my fellow Americans, you will be studying Canada in great detail in the coming years. )
For more on Fulbright in Canada, go here. I went on a Creative Writing Fulbright. If you are currently a student, you can too. There are also programs for scholars and teachers.
Be transformed by a place—let it sink into your bones.