Nichole Corbett: Fulbright Scholarship Recipient Talks Turkish Culture & Future Screenwriting Plans

Nicole Camille Corbett is a graduate of The University of Alabama and a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship who is currently teaching English in Turkey. I sat down with Corbett on FaceTime and spoke with her about her experiences abroad and her future plans.

You have recently earned your degree in English and Dramatic Writing. What sparked your interest in these fields and how do you hope to use your degree?

 I want to write comedy for television. I really want to write and work for Saturday Night Live.

 Why Saturday Night Live? Who are some of your inspirations?

Well, many of the great comedic writers have learned their trade from SNL. I have so many favorites, but I love comedians such as Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, and Lena Dunham.

How has your work in Turkey informed and shaped your studies?

I love learning the Turkish language and seeing what the Turk people value. It’s interesting to be in a country where Islam, the predominant religion, is new to me, and to see different perspectives about relationships and lifestyles. I can understand relationships and interactions in English speaking countries, but being in a country where the cultural and social foundations are different from those in the United States has allowed me to see that people from different parts of the world have different mores, beliefs, values, outlooks, and worldviews than those with which I am most familiar as an American.

What do you hope to teach others given your studies and preparation at UA?

I am currently teaching classes about American culture, and I hope to teach my students how to use language and words in a more clever and exciting ways.

What other interesting or beneficial experiences have informed your time abroad outside of your Fulbright scholarship?

 The opportunity to travel widely has had a huge impact on me. I’ve been to 16 different countries. I travel as much as I can.  For instance, I studied at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, and at Roehampton in London, both of which were once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Other than teaching, I have also learned about Turkish hospitality, which is quite similar to southern hospitality. I was born and raised in Georgia, so it is nice to see that American and Turkish families both value being polite, sharing food, and making others feel welcome. I’ve also noticed that Turkish cuisine is held to a much higher standard than in America. It’s also really interesting to see how people get to know one another in Turkey and how social habits differ from country to country.

What are your plans for when you return from your Fulbright Scholarship?

I hope to enter graduate school for creative writing and screenwriting.

What else do you hope to gain before returning to America?

 I hope to come back knowing the Turkish language better than I do now, and bring back a knowledge and appreciation of Turkish culture that I can share with others. While I’m here, I also want to spend more time learning about Turkey’s rich history and culture, so one of my goals is to visit as many major Turkish cultural and historical sites as I can before I leave.