Nicholas Rugbart ’25 selected for Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute

Rugbart will study this summer at the University of Bristol through the program, which is sponsored by the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission. He becomes the third Elon student selected in recent years for the prestigious program.

Nicholas Rugbart ‘25 has been selected to study at the University of Bristol this summer through the Fulbright Summer Institute, one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide. The program, sponsored by the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, selected just 36 U.S. students to participate in the 2023 institutes out of an applicant pool of more than 500.

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission is the only bilateral, transatlantic scholarship program offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field at any accredited university in the United States or the United Kingdom. The commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange.

Selected from a strong applicant pool, Rugbart will engage with a broad scope of experiences in the United Kingdom during the three-week cultural and academic summer program. The program at the University of Bristol is one of five in the U.K., and has a focus on the intersection of arts, activism and social justice. During the program, students will focus on how literature, music, visual arts, poetry, storytelling, dance, philosophy and critical social theories have shaped movements for social justice around the globe, with particular attention to racial justice and the legacies of slavery.

Rugbart, an Elon College Fellow from Arizona, is a double major in political science and international & global studies (Asia concentration). He also serves as the president of Elon’s Chinese Club and the vice president of special events for Elon’s Black Student Union.

“I applied for Fulbright UKSI to broaden and challenges perspectives on topics that I learn in American classrooms. The U.K. might have a completely different outlook on global issues such as migration, race/racism, and the environment based on unique local impacts. I wanted to think about the same issues that I am already learning about but from a different angle,” he says.

Earlier this semester, he was selected for the Boren Undergraduate Scholarship, a highly selective $25,000 award that will support his six-month study in Taiwan.

“I also applied for Fulbright UKSI to prepare me for my future study abroad experience in Taiwan,” he says. “Spending three weeks in a new environment away from home and having to adapt to a new culture along with navigating international contexts will serve me well next year. When I graduate Elon, I want to confidently say that I am a global citizen.”

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission selects participants for the summer institute through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the commission looks for academic excellence and a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.

Rugbart is the third Elon student to be selected for the Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute, following Chandler Vaughan ’21, who participated in 2019, and Bridgette Agbozo ’19, who participated in 2017.

Fulbright Summer Institutes cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including visa processing, a comprehensive predeparture orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session, and the opportunity to join program alumni networks.

Elon students interested in the Fulbright program are invited to contact the National and International Fellowships Office.