Fulbright Recipient Spotlight: Charlie Perris, ETA, Germany


Charles “Charlie” Perris, from Montclair, New Jersey, will receive his bachelor’s degree in history from VCU in May. Charles will be teaching English in Germany as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.

Charles Perris

What is your research focus or proposal for your Fulbright award?
I have proposed a curriculum of English-teaching through the use of American and German music. I intend to use American songs both new and familiar to my students in order to improve their conversational skills, while also learning more about German music and drawing parallels. Outside of the classroom I will organize a music and conversation club, and work on performance and recordings with students.

What initially drew you to apply for the Fulbright?
The Fulbright had been recommended to me by friends and family, but it was with the support of a close friend that I decided to undergo the application. After my junior year in Berlin, I knew that I wanted to go back to Germany in a long-­‐term way again. For a while I have also been interested in teaching and language, and the Fulbright seemed a perfect match. 

What do you plan on doing before your Fulbright kicks off?
Visiting my little brother in Vancouver, where he studies beer brewing, and then travelling in Europe for a few months before my Fulbright, visiting family, taking a long-­‐distance bike tour, and preparing for my time teaching.

What do you plan on doing after your Fulbright year?
I hope to attend graduate school in Germany, studying either 20th Century German history or American Studies. Afterwards, I would like to teach at the high school or university level, somewhere in Germany or America! 

What advice would you give to future applicants?
Starting early is helpful. It is also very important to take a step back every now and then in order to orient yourself, as it is easy to get overwhelmed in the process. There are a lot of different parts and pieces, but if you use the support VCU provides and push through, the whole experience can be very rewarding, whether you are accepted or not.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply for a Fulbright? 
Charlie and his ten fellow recipients from VCU worked with the National Scholarship Office (NSO) at Virginia Commonwealth University. The NSO works with VCU alumni, graduate students, and undergraduates who wish to compete for prestigious national and international scholarships, such as Fulbright.  If you are interested in applying for Fulbright or other nationally or internationally competitive scholarships, please contact the NSO at natlscholar@vcu.edu or (804) 828-6868.

How many students from VCU are awarded the Fulbright? 
With this latest group of Fulbright Student Scholarship recipients, 42 VCU students and recent alumni have been offered Fulbright awards since the National Scholarship Office was created in 2005.

Can you tell me more about the Fulbright?
Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. Sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Learn more at us.fulbrightonline.org.