Mercyhurst is playing host this year to Fulbright Scholar and Teaching Assistant, Fatiha Tachakourt, from Agadir, Morocco.
With a bachelor’s degree in Media Diversity, Tachakourt is pursuing graduate study while also teaching beginner and intermediate Arabic classes at Mercyhurst.
“To come here, I teach Arabic but I also teach culture. You are an ambassador of your culture, your language, your religion,” Tachakourt said.
The Fulbright program is a prestigious government-funded organization that works to promote global educational exchange at the graduate level.
Some notable Fulbright scholars include heads of state, Nobel Laureates, and talented communicators and performers, according to the Fulbright website.
According to Tachakourt, it takes approximately a year to work through the Fulbright system from applications, to interviews, to rankings.
A combination of Tachakourt’s rankings of universities, and Mercyhurst’s rankings of students lead her through the Mercyhurst gates.
“I thought it might fit, so I just applied, and here I am,” Tachakourt said.
Tachakourt’s first impressions of Mercyhurst culture are fairly positive.
“It’s calm, especially Mercyhurst campus . . . It’s like home, to be honest. The weather, so far, is like my city, Agadir, it’s the same.We also have four seasons in one day… but everyone says ‘wait until winter and you’ll see . . . I think I will enjoy winter because it will be the first time I see the snow.”
“To know more about a country and culture you need to go there, to explore that yourself. You can read books … but I think you need to go there yourself.”
“Actually I encourage students to go and to apply for exchange programs,” Tachakourt said.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to apply and to go explore the culture. I would definitely advise anyone to just apply, just go there.”
Welcome to Mercyhurst, Tachakourt!