Richard Parker is convinced France is the best place to study political, economic and legal complexities of the European Community.
"I could study in the States, but it wouldn't be the same thing. It would be like studying oceanography in Kansas," said Parker of Lawrence.
Parker, a recent Kansas University history and political science graduate, made that case persuasively enough to officials of the Fulbright program that they awarded him a Fulbright to study one year in Strasbourg, France.
"This year won't be a holiday. This program is one of the two best in Europe. It's the best in France," said Parker, who's interested in working as a political analyst on EC issues.
He's among eight KU students or graduates who will study abroad during the 1993-94 academic year with Fulbright grants. The value of the grants varies according to the type of grant awarded.
The Fulbright program was established in 1946 by then-Sen. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program is designed to foster understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges.
Recipients are chosen by U.S. Information Agency in cooperation with more than 30 foreign governments that contribute funding to the exchanges.
One of KU's Fulbright winners is Scott Link, a doctoral student from Green Bay, Wis. He will research Argentinean novelists who published from 1976 to 1983.
Link said he will be immersed in Argentina's culture for a year, which should help him understand literary motivations of some of the country's writers during a period of government repression.
"I'll have more access to intellectual journals and newspapers and magazines not collected in the United States," he said. "Some of the intellectuals are still alive down there ... and I'll be able to speak with them."
At KU, three people received the most prized Fulbright -- a full grant or fixed-sum grant that provides airfare, tuition, books and other funds for the academic year based on living costs in the host country.
The winners were Linda Helmig of Lawrence, who is headed to Helsinki, Finland; Delin Cormeny of Overland Park, who will go to Zimbabwe; and Link.
Link said he appreciates his full grant, given that Buenos Aires is now considered one of the more expensive places in the world to live.
Four students -- including Parker -- were Fulbright travel grant winners. Parker's grant will provide about $1,000 in travel expenses.
The three other recipients are planning to study in different German cities. Jerald Cline of Evergreen, Colo., will study German language and literature in Mainz. Abbie Vincent of Tulsa, Okla., is to engage in women's studies in Hamburg. James Ronnau, Lawrence, will study engineering in Stuttgart.
The eighth student, Barbara Raben of Russell, was presented a Fulbright through the German Academic Exchange Service. She will study modern German literature in Bochum, Germany.