Alumni Spotlight: Dustin Volz

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Name: Dustin Volz

Home Town and University: Born in Evansville, Indiana, but spent my formative years in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. I studied journalism and U.S. history at Arizona State University.

Fulbright ETA placement location and year: I was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Palembang, South Sumatra, during the 2012-2013 grant period. I taught and lived at SMA Plus Negeri 17, a boarding school that always made sure I had enough rice and pempek to eat.

Current city and job: I’ve called Berlin home for the last two months, thanks to a journalism fellowship that brought me here to do some reporting in Germany’s fascinating capital. In late October I will return to Washington, D.C., to begin a new job covering cybersecurity and surveillance policy for Reuters.

Life After Fulbright: I moved to Washington, D.C. after my grant, thanks to the Atlantic Media Fellowship that led to a staff job with National Journal covering tech policy on Capitol Hill. People are generally perplexed to learn that I spent a year teaching in Indonesia—where?— before beginning my “career,” but the Fulbright experience unquestionably made me better prepared to handle adversity and deal with constantly changing expectations that define the daily journalism grind.

Though I think of Indonesia daily and miss the country dearly, D.C. has been a wonderful place to move and be able to stay connected to the merah putih. Several other grantees from my class have moved here to take up work in international relations, and the Indonesian embassy is always putting on some incredible events. I hope to return soon, whether on a nostalgia-induced holiday or as a foreign correspondent.

It has been a thrill to see Indonesiaful continue on year after year since we first launched it in 2012. It is tremendously inspiring to see what great things the new grantees are up to, and the website provides me with a chance to stay connected with Indonesia and the Fulbright ETA community. Keep up the great work!

Dustin Volz was the founding editor of Indonesiaful. Contact him at dnvolz@gmail.com.

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