For Courtney McKelvey ’18, Fulbright Program built upon Elon experience, supported career path

Elon was recently recognized as a top producer of Fulbright students, and McKelvey is among the scores of Elon alumni who have taught English or conducted research abroad through the program.

Elon University was recently recognized a sixth time as a top producer of students who teach English or conduct research through the U.S. Fulbright Student Program.

Each of these alumni takes the skills and knowledge they have built during their time at Elon and applies it globally, whether it is teaching a young student how to read or write English, or advancing groundbreaking research that initially undertook as undergraduates at Elon.

McKelvey at the Jiju Lantern Festival during her time in South Korea.

Among of them is Courtney McKelvey, a member of Elon’s Class of 2018. A Periclean Scholar, Honors Fellow and member of Phi Beta Kappa, McKelvey majored in international studies and was selected in 2019 to be an English teaching assistant in South Korea through the Fulbright program.

“At Elon, I was able to take advantage of such a wide variety of opportunities that provided an international perspective, from classes to internships to study abroad experiences,” McKelvey says.

During her time as a Fulbright in South Korea, McKelvey was able to immerse herself in culture while also learn more about migration and refugee issues while volunteering as a tutor for a defector from North Korea. “As I continue my career in migration and education issues, I have already seen the ways this experience has provided me with a unique and valuable perspective,” McKelvey says.

McKelvey, left, with her host family in South Korea.

McKelvey is now a semifinalist for the 2021-22 Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and is seeking to conduct research through the program in the United Kingdom. She is seeking to study and research at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. If she receives a Fulbright research award, she will study in the university’s Migration and Global Development master’s degree program and have the opportunity to build on her previous experience working with refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in Berlin, Korea and Boulder, Colorado, by conducting research on the migrant integration process in the United Kingdom.

McKelvey, second from left, with a fellow Fulbright award winner, second from right, and their hosts in South Korea.

Elon students and recent alumni interested in the Fulbright program or other nationally competitive fellowships are invited to contact the National and International Fellowships Office. In order to begin the Fulbright application process in 2021, students should visit this page to register for one of the following Fulbright webinars during spring semester:

  • Friday, March 26, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 8, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 25, Noon to 1 p.m.