Zach Goodwin '21: Fulbright Research Grant, Serbia


Headshot of Zach Goodwin

Zach Goodwin '21 will be researching the current integration infrastructure and resources available to refugees hoping to settle long-term in Belgrade, Serbia.

Why did you choose to apply for this award?

I applied for a Fulbright grant because I was interested in programs that would allow me to live abroad, conduct original and self-directed research, and gain crucial skills in foreign languages, field research, and writing.

Briefly describe the work you will be doing on your fellowship.

I will be researching the current integration infrastructure and resources available to refugees hoping to settle long-term in Belgrade, Serbia. My first trip to Belgrade in 2019, during which time I volunteered at a small refugee aid center, inspired this project. Nearly 40% of refugees granted protection in Serbia still elect to continue migrating to a different country. Why might refugees be dissatisfied with integration resources in Serbia and what best practices could the state and NGOs take to encourage long-term resettlement?

What are you most looking forward to during your time as a fellow?

I am most looking forward to returning to friends, colleagues, and students at Refugee Aid Serbia, the aid center I volunteered at in 2019, which will be sponsoring my project. I am excited by the possibility of producing research that can enhance refugee aid operations in the region and learning more about the regional migration context through site visits and coordination with local NGOs. Beyond my research, I am excited to see more of Serbia and the surrounding countries.

How have your experiences at Oxy prepared you to apply for this award?

My classes in the Diplomacy & World Affairs department were crucial in giving me the skills needed to develop my methodology, research plan, and application for the Fulbright program. Professors Hebert and Chu, especially, guided me through my application and asked pointed, critical questions that helped me identify areas for improvement in my research plan. As well, developing the methodology for my comps project acted as a crash course that proved extremely helpful when brainstorming my Fulbright project. Lastly, my semester abroad and my semester interning with UNHCR through the Kahane UN Program informed my understanding of the regional (Balkans) and thematic (migration) histories underpinning my proposed Fulbright project.

What advice would you give future applicants about the application process?

Start early and use all of Oxy's resources available to you! It's important that every sentence in your application carries new and relevant information. The writing workshops hosted by the National and International Fellowships office helped me turn long and wordy first drafts into concise and informative final drafts. Try to get me as many pairs of eyes reading your essays as possible — the more feedback, the better.