"It has been rewarding for me to explain my ideas to other people," Brian Jacobsen 07 said about the gathering. He proposed a project in Spain that would study the existential ideas leading to the rise of fascism in 20th century Spain.
Other applicants had similar reactions to sharing their projects with the community.
"I feel so lucky to be at a school with such a developed Fulbright program," Mary Sotos 07 said, calling the help and support from faculty "unparalleled."
Sotos, who would like to study Belgiums energy policy and the place of civic organizations in the countrys energy communications, hopes that the gathering of current Fulbright applicants will inspire and interest other students to apply during their senior year.
"I encourage everyone thinking about Fulbright to take advantage of the support available at St. Olaf," she said.
Julia Jackson 07 hopes to teach English in a Turkish University, learning enough Turkish in the process to study the language used in childrens literature and other textbooks.
Because the Fulbright application was due in early October, the applicants had not spent a lot of time with their projects since the final proposals were due.
"Its a little nerve-wracking," Jackson said about having to talk to others about her project after a long time away from it. "There is a huge time span where you have to let it lie."
Elsa Marty 07 hopes to travel to India to study the language used in environmental policy and decision making.
We all spent so much time on these, she said about the individual project proposals.
Marty expressed excitement about sharing her project with the community, partly to raise awareness about the issues raised by the projects.
"Im glad to just get them to think about the issues," she said.
Marty also thanked all the professors on the Fulbright committee at St. Olaf.
"If you need something, theyre here to help you," she said.
Kristen Rau 07 proposed a project in South Africa analyzing the language of truth, justice and reconciliation in contemporary texts. She praised the Fulbright support system, mentioning the professors as well as her fellow Fulbright applicants.
"Its like a reunion," she said about the gathering.
Rau recognized the important role that professors and advisors had on all the projects.
"These people are all so important," she said. "Theres nothing like this support system."
Applicants will be notified in January if they have made the first cut. Final decisions about the Fulbright Scholarship will not be made until spring 2007.