Building bridges: Honegger headed to Japan as Fulbright scholar


Dr. Rose Honegger will travel to Japan next month for a two-week stay as a Fulbright U.S. scholar.

She is one of 800 U.S. citizens selected this year for the prestigious program. Participants journey to other to countries to teach, conduct research or provide expertise as part of the international cultural exchange program. It’s one of the most competitive fellowships in the world.

The associate director of Global Engagement at UL Lafayette will have a full itinerary. She will meet with educators and public officials at about a dozen universities and governmental agencies.

A key component of the program is to “promote mutual understanding between different cultures,” she said. “Another is educational collaboration.”

Honegger will learn about opportunities for UL Lafayette students to study in Japan. She will hear about ways the University can accommodate students from that country who wish to study here.

Honegger will also promote the University’s Intensive English Program, which offers courses in writing, reading and speaking for students whose first language isn’t English.

“We’ve had interest from Japanese universities that want to do intensive summer programs catered to their students,” she said.

“The program is for non-native speakers who are interested in improving their English language proficiency. It’s essentially a bridge program for international students,” Honegger explained.

This spring, 442 students representing 62 countries are enrolled at UL Lafayette.

Helping students from other countries adjust to life on campus and in the community is a familiar role for Honegger. Through the Office of International Affairs, she administers programs and steers students toward services intended to help ease their transitions.

“Adjusting to a new culture can be challenging, and many international students are entering an entirely different educational system,” Honegger said.

Fulbright award recipients are selected based academic and professional achievement, and service and leadership. Honegger was accepted into the program after she completed a lengthy application process and received a peer-review panel’s recommendation.

The Fulbright Program was founded in 1946. It’s sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Learn more about the Fulbright Program