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Save Fulbright from an unprecedented $ 30 million cut

The subcommittees in both the House and the Senate have heard our voices and voted to restore Fulbright funding!

The finalization of the federal budget might take until the end of the year, but these are two great steps. Fulbright alumni from all over the world were the first to raise their voices loudly and clearly to object to the $30 million cut to the Fulbright Program, and their advocacy has been instrumental in this remarkable success.

Get some quick facts about the SaveFulbright initiative below.

What’s at stake

The Fulbright Program is the “flagship international academic exchange program” of the United States. It has been the premier instrument of the United States to promote mutual understanding and academic and cultural exchange partnerships with over 155 countries all over the world for more than sixty years, and the positive impact the 325,000 alumni of the Fulbright Program have made has been and continues to be huge!

The Obama Administration’s 2015 budget proposal for educational and cultural exchange programs had some good news and some really bad news. The good news was that it called for a 1.6% increase in the exchange budget to $ 578 million, and it budgeted $ 30 million for new and laudable initiatives to reach out to young leaders in the traditionally underserved regions of Africa and Asia. The bad news was that these new programs are being funded at the expense of the Fulbright Program which experienced a massive and unprecedented cut of $ 30 million to the $ 234 million Fulbright budget: a 13 % drop in the core funding of a program that serves the United States and a global community.

In a trillion dollar budget there must be some way to fund the new initiatives and to maintain the funding for the Fulbright Program!

#SaveFulbright by asking Congress to restore funding for the Fulbright Program! We need a $ 30 million increase in the 2015 educational and exchange budget allocated to Fulbright!

Please sign the #SaveFulbright petition NOW! We will keep you up to date and let you know how you can help: wherever you may be in the world! Every voice counts!

“…to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations,…to promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement; and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.”

- Purpose of the Fulbright Program – Preamble: Fulbright-Hays Act, 1961

Why #SaveFulbright funding 2015 is so important

10 good reasons to restore $ 30 million to the Fulbright Program budget

  1. The State Department always has referred to the Fulbright Program as the “flagship international academic exchange program” of the United States: the premier instrument to engage other countries in the world in partnerships and to facilitate dialogue with citizens and institutions of higher education.
  2. After 1946, the Fulbright Program provided foundational impulses for the internationalization of US higher education, and it has been instrumental in making the United States the leading destination for international students and scholars. It brought the first large groups of international students to the United States in the late 1940s and 1950s, and it still helps bring many of the best international students to the United States today. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, international students contribute over $ 24 billion to the US economy each year, and the Fulbright Program is one of the most respected programs among international educators in the United States and abroad.
  3. With over 355,000 alumni from over 155 countries, the Fulbright Program is the United States’ oldest, largest, and most prestigious exchange program.  As the Department of State website notes: “The Fulbright Program’s stature and success is based on its sustained commitment to international bilateral partnership and joint priority-setting, …“  The proposed cut of $ 30 million is incompatible with the spirit of the Fulbright Program.
  4. The unprecedented $ 30 million cut would do substantial damage to the reputation of the Fulbright Program. A cut of these dimensions would raise doubts about the US commitment to the program and erode the value of the symbolic and political capital that the United States has accumulated in over sixty years with the Fulbright Program.  The symbolic value of the Fulbright Program cannot be overestimated.  It costs little but unequivocally emphasizes the common values and interests the United States shares with its friends and allies and to which the United States appeals when seeking their collaboration and support.
  5. The Fulbright Program is not exclusively a US government program. It also is based on executive cost-sharing and partnership agreements with 49 states, each of which has a binational Fulbright commission responsible for managing the program in the spirit of mutual understanding. Among these 49 countries are the United States’ long-standing friends and most important allies in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, and in the Western Hemisphere. There is a long-standing strategic dimension to the Fulbright Program.  It is about building and maintaining robust educational, scientific, economic, and political partnerships; knowledge transfer; and competition in the global marketplace, too.  Among its alumni are 29 former heads of state or government, 53 Nobel Prize winners, and 80 Pulitzer Prize winners.
  6. The governments as well as private and public institutions in the 49 states with binational Fulbright Commissions contribute the lion’s share of the over $100 million that flows into the Fulbright Program annually.  This is almost half of the total US government allocation to the program.
  7. In the many of the 49 countries with binational commissions, the respective national contributions to the Fulbright Program are substantially higher than those of the US government.  Among countries in Europe with binational commissions, for example, the ratio of the average partner country contribution to the US government is 2:1, but it goes as high as 8:1 or 9:1.
  8. This kind of commitment from partner countries to the Fulbright Program makes it exceptionally cost effective and gives the US taxpayers a big bang for their buck. In many countries with binational Fulbright commissions, partner countries spend more funding Fulbright opportunities for US students and scholars to go abroad and more for their own students and scholars to go to the United States than the US government does.  Why undermine their confidence in the US commitment to the program with $ 30 million cut and ultimately jeopardize those revenue flows?  Under these circumstances, US grantees and US institutions are among the primary benefactors of partner government contributions.
  9. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 US students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 US scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals.  The 13% cut of $ 30 million in the Fulbright budget will most likely translate into the loss of at least 13% of these grants, if there is no additional collateral funding damage: over 1,040 Fulbright awards.  If these cuts were applied to the part of the Fulbright Program for US students and US scholars, over 40 percent of the awards would be jeopardized.
  10. The proposed Federal Budget for 2015 is over a trillion dollars. The State Department and USAID have a combined budget of over $46.2 billion dollars. It
 is completely incomprehensible why a decrease of $ 30 million in the USAID budget could not result in a corresponding increase of $ 30 million in the State Department budget to fund laudable new initiatives in Africa and Asia or why the $ 234 million budget for the Fulbright Program has been identified as the best or the most logical or the only possible source of funding for these new initiatives.

“…to make international relations human relations and to encourage attitudes of personal empathy, the rare and wonderful ability to perceive the world as others see it.”

- Senator Fulbright from The Price of Empire, 1966

What Fulbright Alumni say about Fulbright

Dear Honorable James Duncan Jr., I am writing this letter to thank you for your continued support of the Fulbright Commission and it’s important mission in enhancing international collaboration and communication between the USA and international partner countries. This letter is written on behalf of me as a private citizen Timothy M. Young and does […]

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rsz_tim_young_students_kuchlDear Honorable James Duncan Jr.,
I am writing this letter to thank you for your continued support of the Fulbright Commission and it’s important mission in enhancing international collaboration and communication between the USA and international partner countries. This letter is written on behalf of me as a private citizen Timothy M. Young and does not reflect any official communication from the University of Tennessee at which I am a Professor.

I recently learned that the President’s budget for “Public Diplomacy” and the flagship academic exchange Fulbright funding program is being reduced and reapportioned. The importance of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961 and promoting mutual international understanding that has been financed bilaterally since its inception is the correct direction for USA in promoting peace and understanding of USA and other cultures throughout the world. This also directly facilitates research collaboration which has direct economic benefits to the USA through international collaboration on new product development, industrial partnerships, global trade, etc.
The reason this so important to me is that I would like to share with you my recent Fulbright experience which was predominately funded by the Austrian government as part of the Austrian-American Fulbright Commission in Vienna. The importance of leveraging funding is critical for these programs but I am afraid we may lose this critical leverage if our critical funding mass gets too small.

I conducted research and teaching during the fall 2013 semester at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences in Kuchl Austria as a visiting scholar as part of the Austrian-American Fulbright Commission. My visiting scholar responsibilities involved teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in statistics and conducting research on cross laminated timber (CLT). The experience
was beneficial for all parties involved. There were many learning experiences from teaching students, meeting parents, meeting people in the local communities, and visiting mills in the CLT industry. I believe I represented the USA, Tennessee, and University of Tennessee at a high standard as an unofficial citizen-ambassador during my stay. These types of Fulbright international experiences serves the USA very well in international stewardship and outreach. There are stereotypes of Americans that can be clarified and improved from these types of “shoes on the ground” experiences. The Austrian college students get certain stereotypes of Americans through TV and mass media that are often times incorrect. I believe I was effective in breaking down communication barriers and leaving a good impression about Americans. Many of the older Austrians I met in the smaller villages had their own perceptions of Americans from the WW II era and were sometimes hesitant to engage in conversation. Once the initial communication barriers were broken down, I believe I definitely improved their perceptions of America. The bottom-line from what I learned from this Fulbright experience was that it is some of the most important outreach the USA can do in international diplomacy.

My research may also have direct benefits to Tennessee and the USA. Cross laminated timber (CLT) is a rapidly expanding industry in Austria and Europe. It has added many jobs and economic value there. CLTs are cross laminated lumber panels made from low-grade lumber. A market for low-grade lumber would directly Tennessee producers. Large walls and structures can be developed from CLT for both residential and non-residential construction. There is on-going fundamental research on CLT in the USA as funded by USDA for this important forest products sector of our economy. My research involves documenting the Austrian CLT industry and developing an industrial template for development of CLT mills in the USA. It would be nice to have a CLT mill in Tennessee someday. I did interact with Austrian CLT companies that are looking for joint venture opportunities for CLT manufacture with American companies. I will facilitate this to the best of my abilities with my business contacts in the forest products industry in the USA.

In closing, I would like thank you for all you do for American citizens and Tennesseans. This Fulbright teaching/research experience for me would not have been possible without your support in Washington D.C. I strongly urge our leadership to rethink budget reductions for important programs like the flagship academic exchange Fulbright program. This program has a direct impact on how students and people in other countries perceive America, and I believe Fulbright experiences leave them with a positive viewpoint and breaks down misperceptions of America.
Please feel free to contact me if you require any additional information from me or if you have any questions.
Thanks for all you do!
Timothy M. Young

Tim Young
from United States to Austria
Scholar at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences in Kuchl (2013)

Forever inspired by my Fulbright experience, I have been dedicating all my professional life to building bridges between people of different countries: Today I own a training & consultancy firm: “Access Germany Iraq”, which is serving university staff and medical doctors from Iraq to get professional training in Germany. In this sense, I am sharing […]

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savefulbrightForever inspired by my Fulbright experience, I have been dedicating all my professional life to building bridges between people of different countries:

Today I own a training & consultancy firm: “Access Germany Iraq”, which is serving university staff and medical doctors from Iraq to get professional training in Germany.

In this sense, I am sharing and multiplying over and over again the invaluable international friendships and human understanding.

It would be a tremdous loss – not only to all international students, but foremost to the people of United States to give up a programme which orignated from selling olds tanks to funding new views of the world.

Dr. Katja Petereit
from Germany to United States
Student at George Mason University (1989)

“Maybe I should kill myself,” my friend said as we walked down a street in Dhaka, Bangladesh, together. He wasn’t kidding. I wasn’t surprised. In April 2013, my friend had been at the collapse of Rana Plaza, a nine-story garment factory outside Dhaka. The disaster had immediately killed 1,116 workers, and my friend, a journalist, […]

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DSCF7079“Maybe I should kill myself,” my friend said as we walked down a street in Dhaka, Bangladesh, together.

He wasn’t kidding. I wasn’t surprised. In April 2013, my friend had been at the collapse of Rana Plaza, a nine-story garment factory outside Dhaka. The disaster had immediately killed 1,116 workers, and my friend, a journalist, had spent a week amid the wreckage. He’d helped save a few of the 2,438 survivors. I’d been there too, and seen the grim horror of dead bodies beneath shattered cement and tangled rebar. He’d come away sleepless, guilty, depressed – in a word, traumatized.

My friend eventually recovered his natural buoyancy. But occasionally I still think of his words. In a way, they were the reason I’d come to his country. In the past month, I’ve recalled them whenever Obama’s 2015 budget proposal is mentioned.

The President’s budget includes a cut of $30.5 million to the Fulbright, the prestigious academic exchange program through which many successful people have passed. It’s an unprecedented reduction in the U.S. commitment to the Fulbright, and protest has roiled online. Arguments against the cut are myriad: one alumna points out that the Fulbright is “soft diplomacy,” while another writes about the Fulbright’s cross-cultural “deepening of the spirit.” They’re right. But I think the most important reason to save the program lies elsewhere.

On the day I walked down the street with my friend, I was completing mental health research under a Fulbright. Without the grant, the work would have been almost impossible.

That is entirely literal: I had little other support. Just before the disaster, I’d raised the issue of institutional neglect with a supervisor at the university where I’d affiliated. “Your dream isn’t worth having,” she’d said about my Fulbright research, pooh-poohing the fifth of sixth protocols the university would request and spuriously reject.

I disagreed with her. Thankfully, so did the Fulbright Commission. Their backing was the chief reason I was able to do mental health research in Bangladesh. It was a rare support for a huge unmet global need.

On the day Rana Plaza fell – one-third of the way through my nine-month grant – I’d already learned that Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million, had just 123 psychiatrists. That number was sufficient to serve less than 1% of Bangladeshis in need. Information-gathering was even more neglected. In the past 20 years, just over 60 mental health studies have been published. (America had published perhaps a thousand times as many studies in that same timeframe.)

Yet there is no doubt about need. Bangladeshis have the same propensity towards mental disorder as anyone else – including vulnerability to trauma. After the Rana Plaza atrocity, psychiatrists from Bangladesh’s National Institute of Mental Health diagnosed mental illness in 1,780 of 1,998 survivors assessed, or 89.1%. Their families also have elevated psychological distress. Rescuers (like my friend) have been known to commit suicide, but have never been fully assessed.

That stark outcome was foreseeable within hours of the factory collapse. Yet a year later, most survivors have not received adequate help.

Meeting their needs is part of a global economic imperative. Mental health disorders are becoming the number one most common health problem worldwide. They account for about 14% of the total global disease burden, and heavily interfere with economic prosperity of individual workers and entire nations. Yet they receive only about 1% of healthcare expenditures worldwide. This neglect is unsustainable.

Per the Alliance of International Education and Cultural Exchange statistics, 93% of Fulbright alumni say their experience enhanced their understanding of the cultures of other nations. I feel that way, and I know an efficient, culturally competent global mental health system cannot be developed without this knowledge.

And I know that people who survived Rana Plaza – and all of the others who need mental health care in Bangladesh – deserved every second I gave them, and many more. Despite all the difficulties, I would do it all over in a heartbeat.

Did my Fulbright work deepen my spirit? Perhaps it did. (I met a friend I feel great affection for, to begin.) But when I see Obama’s proposed 13% cut to the Fulbright budget, I don’t worry about that. I remember that many of my colleagues did excellent Fulbright work last year, including a labor organizer – who I will forever consider a lion of courage – who spent a full week as a rescuer at Rana Plaza.

I think of the veritable army of future Fulbright researchers whose cutting-edge work will go unfunded, and the many people worldwide who would benefit from that work. To them all, I want to say the same words I said to my friend on a street in Dhaka in the darkest hour of his trauma: If you were gone, I would really miss you.

Keep the Fulbright funded. #SaveFulbright.

Sophia Newman
from United States to Bangladesh
Scholar at (2012)

Prior to my arrival to my US host University, I had one question on the top of my mind: What is the difference between our underdeveloped countries and the United States with regard to our ability to progress? This is not any easy question to answer, but I am now quite sure that good leadership […]

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savefulbrightPrior to my arrival to my US host University, I had one question on the top of my mind: What is the difference between our underdeveloped countries and the United States with regard to our ability to progress? This is not any easy question to answer, but I am now quite sure that good leadership could make a difference between chaotic and prosperous communities.
For an engineer, the solution to a problem of any kind requires a technical approach and this solution should derive from the alternatives produced through observation, analysis, and a set of well-organized procedures.
During my studies from the fall 2003 through the summer of 2004, I had come to realize that, outside the world of perfect solutions based on data and formulas, the world was even more complex and problems might involve scenarios many times more complicated than an equation. I now see that potential solutions have millions of variables and that mathematics does not have the ultimate answer to every problem.

I entered at University of Washington in the fall of 2003, and it was a wonderful experience to go back to school after having worked for several years for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia.
I applied for a Fulbright scholarship called the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship. Becoming an exchange scholar was a challenging but rewarding adventure, to participate in a program that brought together mid-career professionals from around to world in order to enhance their leadership skills.
During my courses and seminars, I discovered that leaders are not only born but are also developed through the good guidance of mentors and specific leadership development programs.

I was awarded with “Alumni Impact Award project final report”. At the end of 2005, after finishing this one-year long project that helped to tackle down problems within a small rural community close to the capital that faced inequitable resource distribution, low school attendance, unemployment, migration to big cities, and alcoholism. The target group composed by 50 youngsters was an example to find better and productive ways to invest their spare time as well as helping to build a model to be followed by other groups of this region that face same challenges.

Many problems remains ahead, but my experience as H.H.H fellow was a life changing experience that will remain like a burn fingerprint in my mind.

Sincerely

Andres Castro
H.H.H
2003 / 2004
Colombia / South America

Andres Castro
from Colombia to United States
Student at University of Washington (2003)

Fulbright experience was critical for my career that I later developped workink for two US corporations, first in England, where I compleated my PhD doing R&D work, and later in Spain. I funded an IT companty that is very succesful and we count with more than 1000 employees. I still run it today and we […]

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savefulbrightFulbright experience was critical for my career that I later developped workink for two US corporations, first in England, where I compleated my PhD doing R&D work, and later in Spain.

I funded an IT companty that is very succesful and we count with more than 1000 employees. I still run it today and we work for 27 years in close cooperations with many US companies helping then to develop markets and sharing value for mutual benefit of both countries.
Fulbrigth program was key,helping me to build confidence, gain knowledge and adquire experience.

Luis Rodriguez-Ovejero
from Spain to United States
Student at University of Utah (1976)

It’s not a stretch to say that the Fulbright program gave me professional purpose, put me on the path to my current career and helped form me as a person. As a recent university graduate, I headed to Albania with a plan to study museums and national identity. What I learned while there made me […]

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MG_9429_webIt’s not a stretch to say that the Fulbright program gave me professional purpose, put me on the path to my current career and helped form me as a person. As a recent university graduate, I headed to Albania with a plan to study museums and national identity. What I learned while there made me shift my focus to issues of difficult heritage (post-conflict, post-Socialist, post-colonial). And, my experience in the country sparked a deep love for the Balkans, laying groundwork for me to return to the region.

Since 2012, I have worked full-time in Albania for an organization called Cultural Heritage without Borders, which is dedicated to rescuing and preserving cultural heritage affected by conflict, neglect or human and natural disasters, as a vital contribution both to building democracy and supporting human rights.

Jonathan Eaton
from United States to United States
Student at University of New York-Tirana (2009)

The Fulbright Teacher Exchange powerfully changed not only my personal life, but has had a lasting impact on my students. My former Mexican HS students are now adults who work in varied fields in Mexico. We are still in contact, creating connections between our countries that will last our lifetimes. I share about my exchange […]

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savefulbrightThe Fulbright Teacher Exchange powerfully changed not only my personal life, but has had a lasting impact on my students. My former Mexican HS students are now adults who work in varied fields in Mexico. We are still in contact, creating connections between our countries that will last our lifetimes. I share about my exchange with my US students every year, and my photos and Mexico momentos generate conversations during the year with students and parents. For my Mexican parents and their Mexican American students, my understanding of Mexico creates a cultural bridge that close the gap between home and school realities.

For my US-born students, my exchange is a constant reminder to dream bigger than our own borders, to look for opportunities, and challenge ourselves to achieve more. My exchange was only a year, but it’s impact will be felt not only throughout my life, but the lives of the 200 students I teach every year.

Reed Scott-Schwalbach
from United States to Mexico
Teacher at CBTA 154 (2008)

I had the privilege and honor of serving as a 2012-13 US Fulbright Scholar to South Africa (host institution: University of Johannesburg). I taught in the Department of Nursing Science and conducted research related to childbirth. Not only did I learn much about the people of South Africa, but I also had the opportunity to […]

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Professional-Photo_Hastings-TolsmaMarie-cI had the privilege and honor of serving as a 2012-13 US Fulbright Scholar to South Africa (host institution: University of Johannesburg). I taught in the Department of Nursing Science and conducted research related to childbirth. Not only did I learn much about the people of South Africa, but I also had the opportunity to interface with many health care providers, particularly midwives working across the country. When comparing midwifery care in South Africa with the U.S., there are certainly more similarities than differences; we share many of the same difficulties and concerns. I continue to work with my UJ counterparts as an appointed Visiting Professor, and am hosting a UJ colleague (Dr. Anna G.W. Nolte) at the University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Nolte has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the College of Nursing. As a result of the Fulbright experience, we continue to enrich midwifery on both sides of the globe through continued joint research activities, as well as through faculty and student contact. The Fulbright has created a strong relationship between faculty at two leading academic institutions, enriching all who have been involved.

Marie Hastings-Tolsma
from United States to South Africa
Scholar at University of Johannesburg (2012)

Why should we save Fulbright? Probably everyone has already shared their amazing experiences as a Fulbright scholar and mine won’t be that much different. However, personally Fulbright has played such a major role that I can’t imagine what my life would be without it!!! Fulbright wasn’t just a scholarship, Fulbright was a life experience that […]

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savefulbrightWhy should we save Fulbright?

Probably everyone has already shared their amazing experiences as a Fulbright scholar and mine won’t be that much different. However, personally Fulbright has played such a major role that I can’t imagine what my life would be without it!!!

Fulbright wasn’t just a scholarship, Fulbright was a life experience that I will never forget.

Already mentioned before by so many the meeting new people, learning the American Culture factors they definitely change your life, but for me what impacted at most was the opportunity of getting rid of the bias I had before arriving in the US.

I learned a lot as a way of living, grew with time and I have become a better person more committed with mutual understanding between people, and in fact Fulbright mission has become my mission as well. I imagine if that was my experience, that was also the experience of an American student who got the opportunity of moving abroad by teaching/studying.

Please Save Fulbright!!!!

Soraya Coscione
from Mozambique to United States
Student at Brandeis University (2010)

I came to the US in 2011 with Intensive English Fulbright. In that time, I traveled around of the US to learn English, and at the same time learns the culture. When I entered to the University, I travel with the University to learn the life of the Undergraduate and Graduate Student. Now, I am […]

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photoI came to the US in 2011 with Intensive English Fulbright. In that time, I traveled around of the US to learn English, and at the same time learns the culture. When I entered to the University, I travel with the University to learn the life of the Undergraduate and Graduate Student. Now, I am almost graduating, and I gives advise to new students or future student about the country. Fulbright has changed my life in away that i can not explain it. However, I can say that it has change the life of the people around me. Now, my husband starts the University next semester, and my brother is taking the MCAT to submit his paper to medical school in this University. Moreover, I give advise to students in the Dominican Republic about their experimentation for final thesis.

In conclusion, Fulbright is a grant that not only can change the life of the grantee but also Fulbright changes the life of the people around the grantee.

Thanks Fulbright
A Proud Fulbright
Diaz-Perez, Alda
Graduate Student
University of Arkansas

Alda Diaz Perez
from Dominican Republic to United States
Student at University of Arkansas (2011)

For me, Fulbright made my stay in the U.S. possible financially, but then also greatly enriched it. I enjoyed regular meetings with Americans and other foreigners, learning about the U.S.A. culture from people I have come to respect. I can safely say that I would not have the understanding of the U.S. people I have […]

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savefulbrightFor me, Fulbright made my stay in the U.S. possible financially, but then also greatly enriched it. I enjoyed regular meetings with Americans and other foreigners, learning about the U.S.A. culture from people I have come to respect. I can safely say that I would not have the understanding of the U.S. people I have today if it weren’t for the Fulbright program and the people who run it.

I express my wish that others may also benefit from such an opportunity, so that the still prevalent misunderstanding (and subsequent conflict) between the U.S. and other countries may be taken away.

Floris van Vugt
from Netherlands to United States
Student at UCLA (2009)

A dreamer like most Afghans, I always saw myself as someone who would do great things in life. When I starting working I realized how ambitious that was and that it would take near-miracles for me to achieve my dreams. I was slowly losing hope and becoming the ‘realistic’ person everyone was pushing me to […]

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savefulbrightA dreamer like most Afghans, I always saw myself as someone who would do great things in life. When I starting working I realized how ambitious that was and that it would take near-miracles for me to achieve my dreams. I was slowly losing hope and becoming the ‘realistic’ person everyone was pushing me to be.

And then came along Fulbright, and I was fortunate enough to receive the scholarship. Fulbright reintroduced me to ambition and big dreams. Fulbright gave me the tools I need to confidently pursue my goals. It gave me the courage to withstand the fear that came with making hard and unpopular choices. It introduced me to similar-minded people from all around the world which helped a lot.

Today I run my own company in Afghanistan, provide employment to tens of families and I would like to believe I have a positive impact on the lives of my country men and women. All this because of Fulbright. I am forever indebted. Thank you.

Shoaib Rahim
from Afghanistan to United States
Scholar at Duke University (2010)

I was told I shouldn’t apply, I was told it was almost impossible to get it. Still I did it, and I got it Fulbright was a dream come true for me and changed my life forever! I studied hospitality management and tourism in Paraguay and currently I am pursuing an MBA at Bentley University […]

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20140315_205847I was told I shouldn’t apply, I was told it was almost impossible to get it. Still I did it, and I got it :)
Fulbright was a dream come true for me and changed my life forever!

I studied hospitality management and tourism in Paraguay and currently I am pursuing an MBA at Bentley University in Boston MA, who would have thought that!!

What I am learning here is immeasurable, in terms of academic education and personal experience. Conversely I am also showing my classmates and friends about Paraguay, a country that almost none knows. Fulbright made me realize that countries are just lines between people, people is the same everywhere.vI wish every, person could be a fulbrighter, the world would definitely be a better place!

This opportunity opened my eyes SO much! To all the things my country is still missing but might take just one person to change that, to all the academic improvements that can be done in the education system, all the touristic ideas that could be implemented in my field.

Everyone deserves to explore and get educated, but not everyone get to have the resources to do it so, Fulbright helps to balance that equation. What some people need to change the world is one chance, and Fulbright provides that chance!

Maria Giselle Coscia Diesel
from Paraguay to United States
Student at Bentley University (2013)

Mexico is not an easy place to do design. No matter how I tried, I was not growing to my potential. This was because of the job market conditions that sadly don’t reward excellence but seek cheap labor. Fulbright gave me tools to not only grow a lot as a designer, but to change this […]

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Imagen3Mexico is not an easy place to do design. No matter how I tried, I was not growing to my potential. This was because of the job market conditions that sadly don’t reward excellence but seek cheap labor.

Fulbright gave me tools to not only grow a lot as a designer, but to change this work condition in Mexico. Design cam be a key factor to the development of any country and it can be for Mexico as well. Being sponsored by the Fulbright program helped me be skilled enough to be of service to my country, and the US that was my host.

Fulbright makes you grow as a person and a professional. It is one of the few things that do have a great impact in making the world a better place in many, many ways.

Every Fulbrighter I have known is a key factor in making their countries, and the US, a better place through development and multi-cultural collaboration.

Juan Antonio Islas Muñoz
from Mexico to United States
Student at University of Cincinnati (2011)

I won a Fulbright grant for research in 2013 and 4 months worked as a scholar at the Eastern Washington University. Due to the support of Fulbright Foundation, I carried out my research and got to know the U.S. science and people. I am very grateful to the Fulbright Foundation and colleagues at EWU. Visit […]

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meI won a Fulbright grant for research in 2013 and 4 months worked as a scholar at the Eastern Washington University. Due to the support of Fulbright Foundation, I carried out my research and got to know the U.S. science and people. I am very grateful to the Fulbright Foundation and colleagues at EWU.

Visit to the U.S. was a real discovery for me! Such programs improve understanding between people. Let other applicants would have a chance!

Alena Rudenka
from Belarus to United States
Scholar at Eastern Washington University (2013)

As a first generation college student, with ancestry from Macedonia, the Fulbright program has given me the opportunity to do research and work in my parents homeland. I have been able to gain a better understanding of the struggles the Macedonian people face, particularly members of the LGBTQI community. As a gay male with a […]

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IMG_1650As a first generation college student, with ancestry from Macedonia, the Fulbright program has given me the opportunity to do research and work in my parents homeland. I have been able to gain a better understanding of the struggles the Macedonian people face, particularly members of the LGBTQI community.

As a gay male with a Macedonian background, I was drawn to work on this topical area for my research because of the countless problems that LGBTQI persons face in Macedonia. The issues range from discrimination, access to health services, a lack of sense of community and constant feelings of nervousness and fear. All of these issues have numerous ramifications for health and social inclusion and the Fulbright program has given me the opportunity to draw attention to the problem, not only locally, but internationally. The work I am currently doing as part of my Fulbright grant is going to be published in international journals and local media and NGOs so that the LGBTQI community’s voice can be heard and not stifled, as it currently is in Macedonia and the greater Balkan region.

The Fulbright program has a great reputation internationally, particularly giving youth the opportunity to work on social justice issues, especially those that are not main streamed in their host countries. It is programs such as the Fulbright program that allows for the voices of local marginalized people to be given an international audience. I have encountered countless LGBTQI persons who have told me that they are happy to see the problems they face heard on a bigger scale, but also that just because they had the chance to talk with me and be able to express their pent up frustration and fear, that this also has helped them feel more at ease, that there was someone there to listen.

Without the Fulbright program sending me abroad to Macedonia, I’m afraid that nobody would be here to listen and create a channel for their voices to be heard.

I am so grateful for the opportunity that the Fulbright has given me to work on an issue so close and dear to my own story. Please do not let the Fulbright program suffer. Save Fulbright!

Thank you,
Kristefer Stojanovski

Kristefer Stojanovski
from United States to Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Student at Center for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation (2013)

In my Fulbright year as a teaching assistant, I gained the skills, confidence, and experience to be an effective and compassionate teacher, a skill I put to use daily as a teaching assistant in the Anthropology Department here at UCSC. My interactions with my students taught just as much about America and the English language […]

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fulbright-picIn my Fulbright year as a teaching assistant, I gained the skills, confidence, and experience to be an effective and compassionate teacher, a skill I put to use daily as a teaching assistant in the Anthropology Department here at UCSC.

My interactions with my students taught just as much about America and the English language as my life outside the classroom enriched my knowledge of Italian history, culture, and politics, all of which are central to the dissertation project I’m currently pursuing. Fulbright gave me the opportunity to represent my country and explore a dozen potential futures. In the process of building a career for myself, I was constantly guided and inspired by my interactions with my students as I urged them to dream big.

I am forever grateful for the professional skills, personal connections, and unlimited possibilities stemming from my Fulbright year, each of which have expanded far beyond the tiny town in southern Italy that I called home.

Rebecca Feinberg
from United States to Italy
Teaching Assistant at Italian Ministry of Education (2011)

My Fulbright experience changed my life in a big way both professionally and personally. For the first time in my life I started asking questions about the education I received in India and how different it is from education abroad. I started realizing the strengths and weaknesses of both the US and the Indian system […]

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MOU-708My Fulbright experience changed my life in a big way both professionally and personally. For the first time in my life I started asking questions about the education I received in India and how different it is from education abroad. I started realizing the strengths and weaknesses of both the US and the Indian system of education through my own experience as a teaching assistant and a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago. This experience drove my interest to engage in deeper study of comparative education systems to be able to research and inform education policy in the future. Personally, I have gained the friendship of people around the world and learned about the good, the bad and the ugly of different societies and people.

My experiences have taught me how we are different based on personal preferences and our cultural practices learned during our socialization process in school and at home in our respective societies. Yet, my experiences have also shown me how similar we are in our common humanity irrespective of these differences. I am a more enriched and enlightened person because of this experience. I wish more students would get similar opportunity to enhance their knowledge and embrace the world as citizens with a global conscience for social justice and peace.

Mousumi Mukherjee
from India to United States
Teaching Assistant at Loyola University Chicago (2005)

My Fulbright grant in Austria at NAWI Graz (University Graz and Technical University Graz) was highly productive and enjoyable. Aside from teaching two new lectures, I am in the process of establishing a semester student exchange between my home institution and the Technical University in Graz. This exchange is specifically geared towards scientists and engineers, […]

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savefulbrightMy Fulbright grant in Austria at NAWI Graz (University Graz and Technical University Graz) was highly productive and enjoyable. Aside from teaching two new lectures, I am in the process of establishing a semester student exchange between my home institution and the Technical University in Graz. This exchange is specifically geared towards scientists and engineers, a group of students who typically do not partake in exchange programs. I strongly believe that student exposure to the international aspect of science is critical to their further development as scientists and citizens of the world. This is especially important considering the internationalization of research, and the highly collaborative aspect of the work.

In addition, I initiated two new research projects, both with a significant impact on society: we are developing novel materials to obtain more efficient lithium ion batteries; in addition we are studying the mechanism of solid formation using techniques not available at my home institution. These studies provide a critical step in the custom design of new catalysts and in gas separation, topics with significant relevance to carbon sequestration and in the design of more environmentally friendly chemical processes.

Both research topics require the shared expertise of my research group at Syracuse University and the researchers at my Fulbright host institution, and already we have submitted a grant proposal to solicit additional funding for these projects, other solicitations are in preparation.

Karin Ruhlandt
from United States to Austria
Scholar at NAWI Graz (2013)

I am particularly delighted to tell my Fulbright story. My first Fulbright (1983) was in Bordeaux, France. It was there that I did research on the regulation of food intake, particularly the action of insulin on feeding. This research had obvious implications for diabetes research. We used mammals that undergo hibernation to study how food […]

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am particularly delighted to tell my Fulbright story. My first Fulbright (1983) was in Bordeaux, France. It was there that I did research on the regulation of food intake, particularly the action of insulin on feeding. This research had obvious implications for diabetes research. We used mammals that undergo hibernation to study how food intake changes during the seasons. We chose this animal model because mammalian hibernators do not feed for nearly 7 months; instead they rely on their body fat to provide energy throughout the winter. To this day, what turns off their food intake is still unknown, but we do have a better understanding of what hormones and neurons in the brain are involved.

On my second Fulbright (2000), I was fortunate enough to go to Vienna, Austria and work with wonderful people at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology. Again, the scientific research opportunities were wonderful and I developed several great collaborations. Furthermore, I was able to exchange cultural ideas about everything from food and wine to research on mammals since we had weekly seminars and we had a lot of informal meetings—at the institute. People would just stop in my office and ask me questions about anything from what was Colorado like, to aspects of my research. In addition, I spent a lot time with students ranging from post-docs to undergraduates, helping them with projects and scientific concepts. In the end, I learned a great deal about European culture and ethics, and they learned a lot about life as a scientist in the U.S. And it wasn’t always about science or politics; good food and wine seemed to be a common denominator that brought us together.

Gregory L Florant
from United States to France
Scholar at University of Bordeaux, France (1983)

Coming from a family of nine children a Fulbright grant allowed me to study in the U.S. as an undergraduate in 1981. It was not only intellectually rewarding, but set the frame for understanding and appreciating the country as well as the values and diverstity of the American people and society. I have returned to […]

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Lichtmannegger_tie_150KComing from a family of nine children a Fulbright grant allowed me to study in the U.S. as an undergraduate in 1981. It was not only intellectually rewarding, but set the frame for understanding and appreciating the country as well as the values and diverstity of the American people and society.

I have returned to Austria and now work as an economist at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. In a global world the experience and lessons afforded by Senator Fulbright’s simple scheme have proven invaluable many many times.

Fulbright offers opportunities so rich and decicive in academic and personal terms that depriving todays bright young from this experience would unnecessarily limit their horizon at a time when we most need it to open.

Rudolf Lichtmannegger
from Austria to United States
Student at Washinton & Lee Universtity (1981)

Az iPademről küldve 2014.03.28. dátummal, 10:52 időpontban Flamich Mária <flamich.maria@upcmail.hu> írta: Believe it, or not, Fulbright simply … has changed my life. One of the best, most fortunate things that happened to me was that I was, or am, privileged to be a Fulbrighter. I am just telling you why. As a legally blind person, […]

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savefulbrightAz iPademről küldve

2014.03.28. dátummal, 10:52 időpontban Flamich Mária <flamich.maria@upcmail.hu> írta:

Believe it, or not, Fulbright simply … has changed my life. One of the best, most fortunate things that happened to me was that I was, or am, privileged to be a Fulbrighter. I am just telling you why.

As a legally blind person, before I went to the States, I had always dreamed to be considered a thinking, human being. And when I got to University of California, Berkeley, all of a sudden that dream of mine came true.

A very good friend of mine and I applied together for the Fulbright grant, as we both imagine, that disability-related, mainly negative stereotypes can best be changed throughout critical analyses of cultural representations of disability, or cultural disability studies. She is specialized in music, and I am focusing on literature. I think that studies on these fields should somehow be built in higher education, mainly, though not exclusively, teacher education. So we both started auditing Professor Georgina Kleege’s Disability Memoir course at the English Department of UC Berkeley. We both could see our original idea, i.e. culture promotes understanding, working, and what is more, working well. People just like, or are in the need of speaking about their disability-related thoughts, they are not afraid of talking about their inherited fear, prejudice. Moreover, we experienced that this whole atmosphere is typical of Berkeley, and of the beautiful, diverse State of California. We could experience ourselves how Persons with Disabilities grow to be considered ”Differently Able Persons!”

Ever since I am at home, I am doing my best to assist people to discover the beauty of diversity and respect it. Every moment I am grateful that my dream could come true, so I am trying to spread the meaningful-life-centered paradigm I have seen the States. Thanks to Fulbright!

We both could speak forever and a day about our Fulbright experiences. There is even an essay on the MIUSA website, titled: The Story of Gershwin and Kodály.

http://www.miusa.org/ncde/stories/flamich

Maria Rita Hoffmann
from Hungary to United States
Student at English Department of University of California, Berkeley (2012)

Having the chance to pursue my MS in the US was the best experience of my life. It is true a learned at lots academically but I also would say it had a positive effect on my personal life and shaped my present and my dreams for my future. As I describe it, I had […]

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Tania-MatzHaving the chance to pursue my MS in the US was the best experience of my life. It is true a learned at lots academically but I also would say it had a positive effect on my personal life and shaped my present and my dreams for my future. As I describe it, I had the chance to meet awesome people from different backgrounds and different cultures, all them have influenced my present life. As an Indigenous person from Mexico, I wanted to contribute to the development of the indigenous peoples of Mexico doing Agricultural Enginering. After my staying in the US, I decided to go further to the technical side, I decided to move to social sciences to not just to create technology and techniques to solve problems but also to understand the lives of peoples and how to be more efficient as a scientist who wants to contribute to the ‘living well’ of indigenous peoples and farmers.

As I said, I learned a lot in the school where I had all I wanted to study and research, my supervisor and my academic group became a family in the sense they were supportive in all what I wanted to do not just in academy. But beyond the academic experience, what I keep in my mind and heart is the life I shared with friends, the experiences, the dreams and desires we built towards a better world from our fields, from our countries. It is also true that due to the prestige of the program, saying ’I’m Fulbrighter’ (As the welcoming letter says, ‘you’re a Fulbrigther all your life’) has helped me to open many doors, it has allowed me to be empowered to be comfortable at working at international environment which I think is crucial in a world of dreamers, but also to reinforce trust and confidence on myslef to go and pursue my dreams. Now I’m doing a PhD in the Netherlands and the research in my home country, this is what I wanted to do, work with indigenous peasants and contribute to their ‘well-living’ and I found my way through the awesome people I met in academy, the friends and people I met though my path while living in in Arizona. Lastly but not less important, Fulbirghters are everywhere and they are always willing to help another fellow wherever you go, so, you never walk alone.

Tania Eulalia Martinez Cruz
from Mexico to United States
Student at University of Arizona (2010)

The Fulbright program funded my doctoral research on nation building and America’s public image at the Smithsonian. I spent four months interacting with the distinguished curators of the National Museums and former congressional aides and learning about American political culture. As an associate professor in American history, one of my central objectives as I teach […]

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savefulbrightThe Fulbright program funded my doctoral research on nation building and America’s public image at the Smithsonian. I spent four months interacting with the distinguished curators of the National Museums and former congressional aides and learning about American political culture.

As an associate professor in American history, one of my central objectives as I teach French and international students is to foster a deeper understanding of American political culture. This is a direct outcome of my Fulbright grant, for which I am more than thankful.

Marie Plassart
from France to United States
Student at Smithsonian Institution, George Washington University (2005)

This summer seminar was shortly after German re-unification. We started in Bonn, went to Leipzig, and then to Berlin. Over the course of the seminar, we met with many officials, citizens, and educators who were grappling with the myriad of issues surrounding re-unification. Seeing things first-hand, having the opportunity to talk with these people helped […]

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savefulbrightThis summer seminar was shortly after German re-unification. We started in Bonn, went to Leipzig, and then to Berlin. Over the course of the seminar, we met with many officials, citizens, and educators who were grappling with the myriad of issues surrounding re-unification. Seeing things first-hand, having the opportunity to talk with these people helped me and continues to help me explain to my students the issues associated with this historic event.

Fulbright opportunities do no only benefit those who take part in them but what they learn flows back into our educational system and helps young Americans understand peoples around the world.

Helen G. Morris-Keitel
from United States to Germany
Teacher at NA Fulbright DAAD Summer Seminar in Germany (1992)

I’m a USA-trained pharmacist currently in the final stages of my Ph.D. studies in the United Kingdom at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Glasgow. My project involves analysing clinical data on patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with the goal of quality improvement in prescribing and treatment. I chose […]

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covvey-2I’m a USA-trained pharmacist currently in the final stages of my Ph.D. studies in the United Kingdom at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Glasgow. My project involves analysing clinical data on patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with the goal of quality improvement in prescribing and treatment. I chose to study in Scotland because of their unparalleled international reputation in healthcare data systems, and hope to use my experience here to improve practice back home in the USA.

My studies have been made possible only through the generosity of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, which has enriched my educational and cultural experience to an undeniable degree. The value of Fulbright at times is difficult to put in words, but I can say I would not be the same pharmacist, researcher, educator, or human being without it.

Jordan R Covvey
from United States to United Kingdom
Student at University of Strathclyde (2011)

I had two Fulbrights in 1992 and 2001 in Bulgaria. The first one was concerned with designing Bulgaria’s first free university following the fall of Communism. In 2001 I revisited as a visiting professor. I was given an honorary degree and became a distinguished professor. The University now has 14,000 students and is one of […]

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189130_1003306837421_1067354076_30013679_5829_nI had two Fulbrights in 1992 and 2001 in Bulgaria. The first one was concerned with designing Bulgaria’s first free university following the fall of Communism. In 2001 I revisited as a visiting professor. I was given an honorary degree and became a distinguished professor. The University now has 14,000 students and is one of the country’s leading institutions. In 2008 I moved to Bulgaria permanently to serve as a professor and start a publishing company. I have written several text books in Bulgarian. The NBU is a leader of the democratic process in this country.

Randall Baker
from United States to Bulgaria
Scholar at New Bulgarian University (2001)

“What will it be like to work in Dubai? Will I be paid? Will I ever get my passport back?” Few of us can imagine the questions in the mind of a young woman who has been recruited for transnational labor – a job abroad. It is deeply disturbing to learn that there are 12.3 […]

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olga“What will it be like to work in Dubai? Will I be paid? Will I ever get my passport back?”

Few of us can imagine the questions in the mind of a young woman who has been recruited for transnational labor – a job abroad. It is deeply disturbing to learn that there are 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and forced prostitution around the world; 56 percent of these victims are women and girls. While migration is at its heart an act of bravery, there is a great need to help potential migrants imagine and discuss the probable risks – and challenges – involved. How might we prevent human trafficking through education and outreach? How can new media and technology help those seeking to migrate? As a Fulbright Fellow in Ukraine, I was investigating these questions.

When I came to Ukraine, I wanted to understand why migrants’ personal trajectories can be so incredibly different and what makes them so. As a young immigrant to America, I was intrigued and troubled to see other people of Ukrainian origin with very different migration experiences. In an attempt to develop a better understanding, I ended up working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an NGO that focuses on prevention, rehabilitation, and reintegration of trafficking victims. The IOM works with over 75 counter-trafficking NGOs across Ukraine and runs a rehabilitation center in Kyiv, the capital, where the majority of my surveys and interviews were conducted.

After field research and interviews with youth throughout Ukraine, I decided to focus on comics and interactive storytelling as a way to engage young audiences and raise awareness. Together with my collaborator Dan Archer, a comics-journalist and 2010 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow from California, we have turned authentic testimonies of human trafficking victims into a comic book anthology titled Borderland. In Borderland, we explore the human trafficking equation from a new perspective – to challenge the common understanding of this complex issue.

I also wanted to connect with my audience (at-risk youth) and to share my research in a format that has a meaningful and lasting impact. I saw my audience as collaborators in the development of this project and met with them frequently to gather feedback on the developing narrative. Through focus groups with students, I found that they were thrilled to see comics about Ukrainians in Ukrainian! Many students were already familiar with manga and American comics, so it was an easy medium for them to understand. Many discussions were sparked after our feedback sessions. These discussions are really my project’s goal: to promote an open dialogue about a taboo subject in a society that is deeply affected by this tragic issue.

Since the completion of my Fulbright project, over 10,000 copies of Borderland were printed by the IOM and distributed to Ukrainian schools and youth, accompanied by several public open air exhibits in major cities in Ukraine. I have also shared these stories with American audiences through a Kickstarter campaign. I am grateful to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and never knew this project would take me so far!

Olga Trusova
from United States to Ukraine
Student at International Organization for Migration (IOM) (2010)

I will be forever grateful for have the chance to study in a foreign country and college without Fulbright program PDPI I would never had this experience.I am a English teacher in public school in Feira de Santana/Ba/Br .This opportunity improve a lot my class because I could study with excellent professors and knew a […]

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DSCN3388I will be forever grateful for have the chance to study in a foreign country and college without Fulbright program PDPI I would never had this experience.I am a English teacher in public school in Feira de Santana/Ba/Br .This opportunity improve a lot my class because I could study with excellent professors and knew a lot of educational tools and I bought a lot of good materials like as flash cards, translator with voice and others that really are keeping my students motivated and our interaction in class increase a lot too.

I hope others teachers can have the same experience and I really believe that Fulbright must be powered and have financial support in all countries because it help a lot of people to make dream come true and empowered education give to all people select the chance to change lives.

Rosana Sampaio Marcelino Nascimento
from Brazil to United States
Teacher at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus (2014)

As an anti-apartheid artist in the Resistance Art Movement of South Africa and a conscientious objector to conscription in the whites-only military engaged in oppression, I went into exile in Zimbabwe, where I had citizenship by birth. There, I continued to study African Art History by correspondence with UNISA, for mental stimulation. I needed more. […]

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Gary-QCC-Cameroon-clothAs an anti-apartheid artist in the Resistance Art Movement of South Africa and a conscientious objector to conscription in the whites-only military engaged in oppression, I went into exile in Zimbabwe, where I had citizenship by birth. There, I continued to study African Art History by correspondence with UNISA, for mental stimulation. I needed more. I sneaked back into South Africa to co-organize an exhibition documenting mural arts—one of the first art exhibits to take a cross-cultural, non-racial view, it was hailed in the press as a “cultural event of the decade.”

It seemed then, in the repressive late 1980s, that democracy would never come to South Africa, and I felt stuck in Zimbabwe, which offered limited opportunities. I needed to do more. My father-in-law, the architect Dr. Philip Brittan, suggested that I apply for a Fulbright. It would never have occurred to me; I thought it was a long shot…

I recall vividly when I heard the news. I was again in South Africa, working underground in a pro-democracy organization in Cape Town. I had been traced (or betrayed), and I was receiving threatening phone calls—on one occasion I had fled my room clutching my passport, convinced that the “security forces” were about to pounce. The Fulbright award was a breath of fresh air, full of promise, an escape, and a new beginning.

I was accepted into the renowned art history graduate program at Columbia University, whose strong African program was headed by Suzanne Blier. My wife, Lisa Brittan, and I arrived in New York with a stipend of around $850, of which about $750 was owed to Columbia in rent for a tiny apartment with two windows onto a brick wall. We lived mainly on egg mayonnaise for a while, occasionally garnished with a pinch of caviar from a tiny $2.99 jar. We could not afford Paul Newman’s lemonade: whenever I see it on shelves today I remember that time.

In 1990, we danced up and down in our tiny apartment as we watched Nelson Mandela walk free on the fuzzy black-and-white TV we had picked up from the street.

The next year, thanks to a Rockefeller Dissertation Award, we returned to South Africa to research and photograph Basotho mural arts—a topic never studied before, and stayed long enough to vote for the first time ever—for Nelson Mandela. I returned to New York in 1994 to produce an exhibition of my photographs at Columbia, critically acclaimed by the New York Times’ writer Holland Cotter, and this later became a NY Times Architecture Book of the Year.

I was asked to become the editor of a 56-volume series of books on African cultures, and remained in New York to do so. I was awarded my Green Card on the basis of extraordinary achievement, and we became American citizens.

In 1997, we founded Axis Gallery, which the NY Times remarked “made New York history by putting African art—old and new—on the map” in Chelsea, and produced many “museum-like” exhibitions over the years. We work closely with many leading American museums on exhibitions and display issues, collection identification and building, and education and outreach.

In 2013, I curated “Shangaa: Art of Tanzania” at CUNY’s QCC Art Gallery (which also traveled to Portland Museum of Art, Maine), the first exhibition and scholarly volume in English devoted to the traditional arts of Tanzania—the product of several years’ work. I also published last year a general-audience book on Pop Art, including many neglected artists, particularly women.

I am Executive Director of Alma On Dobbin, a not-for-profit that promotes cultural exchanges among and between the US, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe, and am helping to found an institute for Central and Eastern European art under the aegis of the CUNY system. I am currently preparing a retrospective on Jakob Jakovits, a Hungarian artist exiled in New York until the fall of the Soviet Union.

I spent a few weeks this year in Guinea, working on the next exhibition for QCC Art Gallery (CUNY), which will focus on the African provenance and oral histories surrounding art objects of the Baga, Nalu, and Mandori people.

As Program Chair of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association Triennial Symposium, held at the Brooklyn Museum in March 2014, I was honored to shape this international conference of African-art scholars, and look forward to playing a similar role for the next Triennial, in Ghana.

I do not need more to do! This full program is what I needed, and what the Fulbright helped me to reach.

Gary van Wyk
from Zimbabwe to United States
Student at Columbia University (1989)

My research project as a Fulbright scholar at Harvard (1976-77)was: Comparative economic systems. The conclusion was that the Soviet Union was in a process of incontrovertible decline. Later, when I became Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of my country, Iceland (1988-95),I became active in support of the restoration of independence of the Baltic […]

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JÛn Baldvin HannibalssonMy research project as a Fulbright scholar at Harvard (1976-77)was: Comparative economic systems. The conclusion was that the Soviet Union was in a process of incontrovertible decline. Later, when I became Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of my country, Iceland (1988-95),I became active in support of the restoration of independence of the Baltic States – when mot Western leaders had a different agenda. It was my conviction, that the secession of the Baltic States from the Soviet Union would be the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire. That is why I acted as I did, becoming the first foreign minister to recognize the restored independence of the Baltic nations. The Fulbright scholarship was an investment in truth. Along with the Marshall aid program it is the best thing America has done for spreading the ideas of democracy and the rule of law.
Abolish it, if you will – but, calculate the cost.

Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson
from Iceland to United States
Scholar at Harvard (1976)

Before I talk about my own Fulbright experience, I want to start with my first contact with Fulbright recipients. I was an undergraduate studying German, and every year, my university hired 1-2 Austrian Fulbright recipients to teach beginning German at our university. A number of these assistants became my good friends and I had the […]

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savefulbrightBefore I talk about my own Fulbright experience, I want to start with my first contact with Fulbright recipients. I was an undergraduate studying German, and every year, my university hired 1-2 Austrian Fulbright recipients to teach beginning German at our university. A number of these assistants became my good friends and I had the pleasure of introducing them to my college town and my state. As a student with a rural background who had only left my state (Montana) a handful of times, interacting with international students like the Fulbright teaching assistants and their group of international friends completely opened up my world. I took some of them to see our National Park and our state capital city. Not only was I able to improve my language skills in an everyday setting by interacting with them, but I also got insight into their perspectives on social, political, and educational issues, among other things. These friendships were incredibly enriching for me, and I am still in contact with many of the Fulbright recipients today.

This academic year, I was lucky enough to receive a research grant that will allow me to complete research on my dissertation in German studies. I was also awarded a spousal stipend so that I could bring my husband with me while furthering my career goals. Sharing the experience of living in a foreign country with my spouse (who had never spent time living in another country previously) has not only broadened his outlook, but it has also allowed both of us to develop friendships with people not only from Germany but also from other countries like Italy, Spain, Korea, Brazil, and China. Because of our mutual interest in the future of higher education, we have also begun pursuing a joint project that examines the German dual vocational education system, which we would like to share with select American technical and community colleges when we return.

The benefits of the kind of “soft diplomacy” that Fulbright achieves are largely intangible and difficult to quantify, but i believe that they are crucial to maintaining a positive image of the U.S. abroad and for combating Americentrism in the U.S. Academic exchange is one of the most effective ways to combat problematic cultural stereotypes and misunderstandings as well. And, for me, most importantly, it gives students with a rural background exposure to the broader world in a number of different ways (through their own time abroad or through contact with Fulbright recipients coming to the U.S.). As such, I believe that the Fulbright program helps reduce the privilege disparity in the U.S., giving less wealthy young Americans from less educated backgrounds the opportunity to interact with foreign people, countries, and cultures.

Lindsey Brandt-Bennett
from United States to Germany
Student at Freie Universität Berlin (2013)

In short, I was a Fulbright scholar for two years (a rare renewal) and learned Icelandic, Norwegian, and Finnish. In 1990, I began teaching modern Icelandic at NYU’s School of Continuing Education and am still affiliated with that school. For the longest time, I was the only one in America who taught modern Icelandic on […]

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savefulbrightIn short, I was a Fulbright scholar for two years (a rare renewal) and learned Icelandic, Norwegian, and Finnish. In 1990, I began teaching modern Icelandic at NYU’s School of Continuing Education and am still affiliated with that school. For the longest time, I was the only one in America who taught modern Icelandic on a regular basis. This may still be the case today.
I also teach Icelandic (both Old and Modern) at Hofstra Univerity as well as Finnish. I also teach “A Survey of the Nordic Languages” which includes Norwegian. Therefore, I am utilizing all my skills learned years ago as a Fulbright scholar. The Fulbright program is absolutely vital; I am grateful that Fulbright provides such educational exchanges between nations. It would be a sad day if drastic reductions in funding would not allow Fulbright to function effectively. It is my wish that the Fulbright program will be able to continue and flourish throughout the coming years.

Respectfully submitted,

Josef Fioretta

Josef Fioretta
from United States to Iceland
Scholar at University of Iceland (1986)

I couldn’t say it any better than First Lady Michelle Obama at a speech delivered at Peking University during her recent trip to China: “Studying abroad isn’t just a fun way to spend a semester; it is quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy. Because getting ahead in today’s workplaces isn’t just […]

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January 2013 Theater RadioI couldn’t say it any better than First Lady Michelle Obama at a speech delivered at Peking University during her recent trip to China:

“Studying abroad isn’t just a fun way to spend a semester; it is quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy. Because getting ahead in today’s workplaces isn’t just about getting good grades or test scores in school, which are important. It’s also about having real experience with the world beyond your borders — experience with languages, cultures and societies very different from your own.”

We should be increasing Fulbright’s budget, not slashing it!!!!

Patricia Kubala
from United States to Egypt
Student at Cairo University Department of Communication (2008)

The two years that I spent in South Korea on a teaching Fulbright gave me an experience that has and will continue to affect my life as an artist, educator, and American citizen. I am a Korean adoptee, and the Fulbright program allowed me to explore my personal heritage, and to give Koreans the opportunity […]

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savefulbrightThe two years that I spent in South Korea on a teaching Fulbright gave me an experience that has and will continue to affect my life as an artist, educator, and American citizen. I am a Korean adoptee, and the Fulbright program allowed me to explore my personal heritage, and to give Koreans the opportunity to interact with a person who has a more complicated relationship to her “Koreanness.” I formally taught middle school, but my pedagogical gesture was extended to all of my interactions–with my local community, my host family, and both Koreans and foreigners that I met all around the country. In the classroom, I taught a total of approximately 2000 middle school students, and held extracurricular classes for both interested students and fellow teachers.

We all learned from one another in strange and surprising ways. I spent my winter vacations in intensive Korean-language classes, and this in turn not only improved my Korean ability, but made me a more empathic language instructor. In Korea I also became more aware of my privilege as an American, and to what extent Western ideals were indoctrinated into my own sense of ethics and constructed representations of Asia. To a large degree, as much as I learned about Korea’s culture, language, and customs, I also came to better understand my “Americanness.” This direct confrontation with the United States’ (and to a larger degree, the “West’s) relationship to Korea and East Asian culture in general, has greatly informed my current artistic pursuits here at Columbia University. And my experience teaching in Korea also began the formation of my teaching pedagogy, something that I am continuing to refine as a teaching assistant now. The Fulbright program gave me more than I had ever expected to learn, and put me in a position to give more than I ever had of myself. With that said, Fulbright is a program that is, in my opinion, indispensable in building more nuanced relationships between the United States and other cultures.

Nicole Maloof
from United States to South Korea
Student at Bonggok Middle School (2009)

I won Fulbright scholarship for Faculty Development Program for 2012-2013 academic year. First of all, Fulbright scholarship gave me a great opportunity to develop both my professional and personal experience. Secondly, the benefits of cultural exchange gained from this amazing program unbelievable and developed me both professionally and personally in a great extend. I still […]

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SABINAI won Fulbright scholarship for Faculty Development Program for 2012-2013 academic year.

First of all, Fulbright scholarship gave me a great opportunity to develop both my professional and personal experience. Secondly, the benefits of cultural exchange gained from this amazing program unbelievable and developed me both professionally and personally in a great extend. I still continue my academic education in the U.S. for master program and continue building bridge between my home University and the University where I continue my master program in the U.S. I am tremendously thankful to Fulbright program to help me achieve the experience that is invaluable for me and my country!

I hope this program will continue to bring together millions of people around the world and to help them to achieve their life goals and contribute to globalization of the world!

Sabina
from Azerbaijan to United States
Teacher at Emporia State University (2012)

I went to Rome, Italy, for the 2011-2012 academic year to research the Italian political asylum system. While in Italy, I had the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of people involved in the asylum system, from government officials in charge of Europe’s largest state-run reception center to NGO workers on the ground providing […]

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IMG_6329I went to Rome, Italy, for the 2011-2012 academic year to research the Italian political asylum system. While in Italy, I had the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of people involved in the asylum system, from government officials in charge of Europe’s largest state-run reception center to NGO workers on the ground providing information and medical services to homeless Afghan refugees, and of course, refugees themselves.

I was able to witness the courageous and heartbreaking stories of people who have lost everything to make their start in a new country and to meet the inspiring individuals who work tirelessly to improve the lives of refugees. The experience was incredible and profound, not only because of my research, but also because of the reality of living in a new country and the personal challenges I overcame. Upon my arrival, I could hardly string three sentences of Italian together, and after six months, I was communicating effectively and with confidence.

I lived in a city ten times bigger than any place I had lived before. I struggled, persevered, and triumphed in matters great and small, and I experienced things that opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart in myriad ways. I made connections that will last for life, and perhaps most importantly, I connected with myself and discovered my path forward. I am currently pursuing a Master in Standardization and Sustainable Development at the University of Geneva, where my passions for language, cultural diversity, and interpersonal connection are flourishing. Because of my Fulbright experience, I know that I have the strength, determination, and capability to make an impact on the world, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Fulbright really does change lives, and the thousands of future Fulbrighters in every country really will change the world. Fulbright is far too important to be sacrificed.

Natalie Photiadis
from United States to Italy
Scholar at Sapienza University, Rome (2011)

I taught English to Class 8 students in Kolkata during the academic year 2011-12. This was the most incredible experience I have ever had – I know my students and I both felt so lucky to get to know one another. I am fortunate enough to be in contact with many of them still through […]

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I taught English to Class 8 students in Kolkata during the academic year 2011-12. This was the most incredible experience I have ever had – I know my students and I both felt so lucky to get to know one another. I am fortunate enough to be in contact with many of them still through various internet media, and I am planning to return to visit with them this summer. My major priority – besides teaching them to exercise their creativity, humor, and critical thinking – was to communicate how diverse and tolerant a place the United States is, something they truly did not understand before talking to me.

DSC_0432Since returning home I have studied two years of Hindi and begun a doctoral degree in South Asian History at Princeton University. The Fulbright Program changed the direction of my life, and I hope it did some good for my students in India as well.

Sarah Carson
from United States to India
Teaching Assistant at United States-Indian Educational Foundation (2011)

The academic year of 1951/52 profoundly shaped my life. I was deeply impressed by American ways of life, adherence to democratic principles, a culture of tolerance, mutual respect, self-critical evaluation of attitudes and behavior, readiness for reorientation and new starts after failure, optimistic outlook also under pressure, social responsibilities in society. I chose the career […]

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H. F. 2009The academic year of 1951/52 profoundly shaped my life. I was deeply impressed by American ways of life, adherence to democratic principles, a culture of tolerance, mutual respect, self-critical evaluation of attitudes and behavior, readiness for reorientation and new starts after failure, optimistic outlook also under pressure, social responsibilities in society.

I chose the career of a political journalist, globetrotted professionally and privately around the world repeatedly, represented my Viennese daily in Washington and New York for several years, wrote books, delivered papers, moderated societal events, met bigwigs and people in need and never forgot that I owed much of the fulfilment I derived from it to my early Fulbright experiences.

Hubert E. Feichtlbauer
from Austria to United States
Student at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. (1951)

The professional, musical, cultural and life experiences gained as a Fulbrighter in Austria have shaped my life for the past 44 years. My wife and I started our family while in Vienna, as our son, Gray, was born in the Rudolfinerhaus medical facility. Our German language skills were fully engaged and expanded during our two […]

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P1160168-2The professional, musical, cultural and life experiences gained as a Fulbrighter in Austria have shaped my life for the past 44 years. My wife and I started our family while in Vienna, as our son, Gray, was born in the Rudolfinerhaus medical facility. Our German language skills were fully engaged and expanded during our two years of everyday shopping, using public transportation, attending classes and public events in that great city.

Musically speaking, the experience at the Hochschule was outstanding. The results of my study, and the subsequent earning of the Auffuehrungs Diploma, shaped the remainder of my education. Returning to Stanford University, where I was a teaching assistant in voice and assistant director of the Stanford Memorial Church Choir, I performed professionally as tenor soloist with several San Francisco Bay orchestras, colleges and universities, and community choral ensembles. As a direct result of my Vienna study, I completed my Stanford University dissertation on, and performed five of Mozart’s Concert Arias, the study of which began while I was a student of Erik Werba in the Lieder u. Oratorio Abteilung at the Hochschule. In addition, I performed the entire song cycle, “Die Schoene Muellerin,” accompanied by Margaret Fabrizio on a 19th century fortepiano.

After earning the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stanford, I began teaching at Whittier College in the Los Angeles basin. I served as Director of Choral Activities and acting Dean of the Music School for the first year. During that time I prepared and sang several of the works studied in Vienna. Mozart’s Entfuehrung aus dem Serail, Schubert’s Die Schoene Muellerin song cycle to mention a couple. The repertoire chosen for the Whittier College Choir was drawn from material introduced to me in Vienna, namely Die Heilige Drei Koenige by composer, Josef Marx, a biography of whom was written by Erik Werba.

My teaching career continued in Rock Island, Illinois at Augustana College where I was Assistant Professor of Music and director of the Ascension Chapel Choir from 1977-1981. The musical selections for that ensemble drew on my oratorio experience while in Vienna. Several large choral orchestral works were programmed while I was there. Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb,” Ramirez, “Misa Criolla,” and other shorter choral pieces and anthems learned in Vienna. An ORF Sendung on the “Mass” by Leonard Bernstein would come into play in my professional life some thirty years later. The work was premiering in Vienna during 1971-72 season, and there were several interviews with the composer on the radio. In 2003, I was a soloists with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble in a performance of “Mass” in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall with the Berlin Symphony under the direction of Kent Nagano. The recording of that performance was nominated for a Grammy Award the following year.

My years of teaching at Foothill College were focused on vocal jazz, something I didn’t study at the Hochschule. However, the Foothill Choir, under my direction, performed many chamber works I studied while in Vienna. Among them were some short choral pieces, Die Beredsamkeit and Harmonie in der Ehe by Franz Josef Haydn, Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem, and Bach’s Magnificat.

Even today, in retirement, I still find myself drawn to repertoire I learned in Vienna for use in our condominium here in Seattle. In April of this year, I am producing a musical evening with chamber music, jazz, and student music performances. Schubert Lieder, operatic choral selections, Beethoven’s “Fuer Elise,” a selection of songs I first learned as a Fulbrighter for a performance at the Brussels Women’s Club in 1972, Barber’s “Hermit Songs”, plus a few jazz and popular numbers round out the program. Fulbright has undoubtedly shaped my music and personal life immensely. Bravo, Fulbright!

Nile P. Norton
from United States to Austria
Student at Hochschule f. Musik u. darstellende Kunst, Vienna (1970)

Spending half a year in an American university was an eye-opening experience despite the fact I had already lectured in other foreign universities. The chance to be absorbed in the regular life of not only academic staff and students, but also of ordinary citizens helped me much better understand why the Americans feel and behave […]

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SONY DSCSpending half a year in an American university was an eye-opening experience despite the fact I had already lectured in other foreign universities. The chance to be absorbed in the regular life of not only academic staff and students, but also of ordinary citizens helped me much better understand why the Americans feel and behave as they do – and this experience made me fully convinced of the fundamental role American ways of life and thinking can have in making the world a better place.

Pavel Pseja
from Czech Republic to United States
Teacher at Hawaii Pacific University (2006)

Fulbright has made me a better person and enabled me to contribute to a better understanding of the world, along the lines and fulfilling the goals of Senator Fulbright. Most important, it would be a great mistake for the US to cut funding of the programme. The goodwill and global influence that the US can […]

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savefulbrightFulbright has made me a better person and enabled me to contribute to a better understanding of the world, along the lines and fulfilling the goals of Senator Fulbright. Most important, it would be a great mistake for the US to cut funding of the programme. The goodwill and global influence that the US can achieve by means of this programme is woth every penny, in a much more effective way than dollars spent in weapons, security or intelligence agencies, or in most other budget items Because every one of the thosands of individuals worldwide benefitting from this programme are truly grateful and they are and will remain great friends, friends which in many instances occupy top positions and are highly influential in their countries of origin.

I cannot think of any better way to further the interests of the US in the world than by supporting, not reducing, the programme In my country, national and international companies also contribute to co-funding the programme without expecting anything in return. Money wisely spent is money spent on Fulbright.

Pedro Callol Garcia
from Spain to United States
Student at University of Chicago, Law School (1946)

Hi, my name is Roman. I was born and raised in a small town called Tomsk in the middle of Siberia. My hometown is great but it is isolated from the rest of the world by miles of forests and snow. I always wondered how world is beyond Siberia. Once our English class professor at […]

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1463969_10151711831416707_1733019417_nHi, my name is Roman. I was born and raised in a small town called Tomsk in the middle of Siberia. My hometown is great but it is isolated from the rest of the world by miles of forests and snow. I always wondered how world is beyond Siberia. Once our English class professor at the university invited Fulbright scholar from the US.

The only US citizen for miles around. The class quickly turned into Q&A session. Everybody in the room was asking questions about the life in US, education, holidays and traditions. Even those who barely could speak English were trying to participate in discussion. This was the first time for most people in the room to see a foreigner. That day I have decided that I also want to share my culture and Fulbright is my chance to see the world beyond Siberia. Several years later I have arrived to the US.

In 2 short years of my Fulbright scholarship I have made more friends than in my entire life it seems. The best part is they all are different and talented. This is amazing than we get together. So many nationalities bond together and all world conflicts between nations seem so ridiculous when you see the American teaching Iraqi to ride a horse on his farm. Fulbright opened my eyes it changed the way I look at the world.

Roman Ripp
from Russia to United States
Student at University of Minnesota (2012)

I went to Illinois on a Fulbright to study for a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. It gave me an invaluable opportunity to experience the US university system as well as the community spirit of a small US town. These were formative experiences, and influence me every day as I teach young engineers at the […]

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I went to Illinois on a Fulbright to study for a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. It gave me an invaluable opportunity to experience the US university system as well as the community spirit of a small US town.

savefulbrightThese were formative experiences, and influence me every day as I teach young engineers at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Helen Inglis
from South Africa to United States
Student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000)

I come from a middle class family from Pakistan. I could never afford to come to the US for a graudtae degree without the Fulbright Scholarship. It has certainly changed my life entirely and made a dream come true! I have had the chance to experience what US higher education is known for globally. Moreover, […]

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savefulbrightI come from a middle class family from Pakistan. I could never afford to come to the US for a graudtae degree without the Fulbright Scholarship. It has certainly changed my life entirely and made a dream come true!

I have had the chance to experience what US higher education is known for globally. Moreover, the global recognition associated with the Fulbright award has instilled confidence in me. It has provided me with a golden opportunity to obtain a graduate degree from the best higher education system in the world known for its cultural diversity. I have been able to connect with international students through the forum provided by Fulbright. This has not only helped me learn about other cultures and people, but also provided me with the chance to be an ambassador to my country, portraying a soft yet true image of Pakistan.

Jawad Siddiqui
from Pakistan to United States
Student at Rochester Institute of Technology (2013)

Fulbright is the most beautiful and human tool of cultural diplomacy. The programme allowed me to build strong relationships with people from Iowa, and more particularly with my host family. I also made friends from Mexico and Argentina. This experience will remain in my heart for the rest of my life.

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French-Team-CalifornieFulbright is the most beautiful and human tool of cultural diplomacy. The programme allowed me to build strong relationships with people from Iowa, and more particularly with my host family. I also made friends from Mexico and Argentina. This experience will remain in my heart for the rest of my life.

Nadège Le Dard
from France to United States
Teaching Assistant at Simpson College (2012)

What a time to go to Ukraine! I returned to the United States just before the start of EuroMaidan and the Russian invasion. During my time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Ukraine, I had the opportunity to help university students and talk with them about their perspectives on linguistic, political, and cultural issues. […]

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792258_10100890577961635_699942020_oWhat a time to go to Ukraine! I returned to the United States just before the start of EuroMaidan and the Russian invasion. During my time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Ukraine, I had the opportunity to help university students and talk with them about their perspectives on linguistic, political, and cultural issues. To Ukrainians, the United States was once the enemy. But now, with programs like Fulbright and the Peace Corps, Ukrainians were inspired to overthrow their corrupt government in the hopes of achieving the kinds of ideals we taught them. My Fulbright experience was not just beneficial to my students.

It was also a learning experience and a source of personal growth for me. And even more, through the protests and geopolitical clashes which followed, I have been able to draw on my experience and contacts to help Americans understand the current crisis. My students have told me that they are more interested in learning about it because I am able to show them my own photographs of important places and relate it to my own experiences. Curtailing of the Fulbright Program eliminates one of the biggest opportunities for understanding, both inside the United States and out.

Beth Ciaravolo
from United States to Ukraine
Teaching Assistant at Vinnytsia Institute of Trade and Economics (2012)

Before accepting the Fulbright grant, I was unsure where Bulgaria was geographically and I had never been to Eastern Europe. As a result of the grant,I came to love this country, with its rich history, beautiful Balkan mountains, warm people, and intriguing culture. While at Sofia University I taught a course that focused on legal […]

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George SiedelBefore accepting the Fulbright grant, I was unsure where Bulgaria was geographically and I had never been to Eastern Europe. As a result of the grant,I came to love this country, with its rich history, beautiful Balkan mountains, warm people, and intriguing culture.

While at Sofia University I taught a course that focused on legal issues and negotiation. This was the Bulgarian students’ first exposure to American-style teaching. They quickly adapted to the interactive approach and appreciated the learning experience. I continue to remain in close contact with many people I met during that visit.

During my stay in 2001, the Fulbright Office in Bulgaria established the Fulbright International Summer Institute, a two week program that brings together top students from Eastern Europe. I have taught in the Institute every summer since its founding–12 years now. In recent years I have brought a class of University of Michigan students with me to Bulgaria. This is an amazing cross-cultural experience. The Eastern European students obtain a first-person look at America through their contact with my students, and my students learn about a region of the world and cultures that are, literally, foreign to them. Many of them tell me that participating in the Institute was their best ever educational experience. My students in Ann Arbor also benefit, as I incorporate information about the region into my courses at the University of Michigan.

At a time when the world is becoming more globalized in business and the US faces increasing political challenges in many regions of the world, any cuts in Fulbright funding will have serious long-term consequences for our economy and our country. My 2001 grant was modest–barely enough to cover my plane ticket, housing and food. The return on this modest investment has been incredible, as the original experience and followup work at the Institute have impacted hundreds of students in Eastern Europe and the United States. Please do not cut funding for a program that has experienced such incredible, cost-effective success.

George Siedel
from United States to Bulgaria
Scholar at Sofia University (2001)

I learned : something essential about the people of the U.S.A; other,better ways of handling some environmental issues (legal and otherwise); pragmatic problem solving to trust the ” No problem” attitude more; a lot about me and my home country. I won American an d international friends . I shared exciting and often wonderful cross […]

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savefulbrightI learned :
something essential about the people of the U.S.A;
other,better ways of handling some environmental issues
(legal and otherwise);
pragmatic problem solving
to trust the ” No problem” attitude more;
a lot about me and my home country.

I won American an d international friends .
I shared exciting and often wonderful cross cultural experiences

I became a friend of the American people which does not hinder me to be sometimes critical of some US political decisions.

I feel gratitude for the largesse my US fellowships granted me.

Martin G.Dolp
from Austria to United States
Student at Cornell LawSchool (1973)

I had the privilege of receiving a Fulbright-Nehru student research grant as well as a Critical Language Enhancement Award in 2011-2012. I lived in Pune, India for 6 months and attended the American Institute of Indian Studies where I learned how to speak, read, and write Marathi. After my CLEA I lived in the Vidarbha […]

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savefulbrightI had the privilege of receiving a Fulbright-Nehru student research grant as well as a Critical Language Enhancement Award in 2011-2012. I lived in Pune, India for 6 months and attended the American Institute of Indian Studies where I learned how to speak, read, and write Marathi. After my CLEA I lived in the Vidarbha region, in eastern Maharashtra. Although it wasn’t part of my initial plan, I was able to spend some of my time in the field interviewing Pournima, a widow of a cotton farmer, for the book “Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy” (to be published May 6, 2014).

I think of my Fulbright experience often and am incredibly grateful that I was able to contribute to this book. Now Pournima can share her story with readers around the world. All thanks to the opportunities I experienced through my Fulbright.

Aaron McMullin
from United States to India
Student at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai (2011)

Through Fulbright Grant I was not only be able to bring all my professional experience and current abilities on the top class level, but I also basically establhed new bi-directional communication between my institution in Prague and my host institution in California. There’s entirely new tradition of exchanging people, ideas and experiences between those two […]

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Mich5Through Fulbright Grant I was not only be able to bring all my professional experience and current abilities on the top class level, but I also basically establhed new bi-directional communication between my institution in Prague and my host institution in California. There’s entirely new tradition of exchanging people, ideas and experiences between those two “planets” since I came back hope from the USA. For me this the crutial role of Fulbright idea !

Michal Rataj
from Czech Republic to United States
Scholar at CNMAT, UC Berkeley, CA (2007)

As a Distinguished Fulbright Scholar in 2010, my family and I (including 3 young children) were based in Sheffield, England where I taught and undertook research projects with local colleagues on sustainable transportation and city design. The entire experience was incredible and had many impacts of note: – The scholarship partnership has led to on-going, […]

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savefulbrightAs a Distinguished Fulbright Scholar in 2010, my family and I (including 3 young children) were based in Sheffield, England where I taught and undertook research projects with local colleagues on sustainable transportation and city design. The entire experience was incredible and had many impacts of note:

- The scholarship partnership has led to on-going, funded research collaboration;
- The relationships have led to students in our two institutions engaging in exchanges with one another where that had not happened previously;
- The experience exposed me to city design in many European cities, which has led to me offering my own study abroad course on bicycle transportation where I bring US students to Europe to learn how to make cycling a more normal way of getting around for more people;
- My children were able to enroll in local school, make local friends, and learn about new cultures. one child has taken that experience and turned it into her own 4-month study abroad experience this year as a high school sophomore.

There is much more to tell, but the basics are very clear. One of the main purposes of the Fulbright program is to foster international understanding and peace and I can confidently say that both my professional and family’s experience exemplified that goal. We should be expanding programs that allow more people from the U.S. experience other cultures, not reducing them.

I am also a former US Peace Corps volunteer and feel the same way about that program, although it often targets people in a different moment in their professional and personal life cycle.

Marc Schlossberg
from United States to United Kingdom
Scholar at University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) (2010)

I went in 2004 for 3 months to the US with the goal of initiating a collaboration with two top laboratories being ahead of me in developping a sophisticated experimental technique able to quantify OH radicals in the atmosphere. The visits to both laboratory was a full succes, a close contact still exists between my […]

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Photo-Christa-Fittschen-2I went in 2004 for 3 months to the US with the goal of initiating a collaboration with two top laboratories being ahead of me in developping a sophisticated experimental technique able to quantify OH radicals in the atmosphere.

The visits to both laboratory was a full succes, a close contact still exists between my group and the two labs in the US. In the meantime one of my former PhD students went as a postdoc to Bloomington and stayed there for several years, further tightening the link between both groups. Fulbright was a great occasion to get a very useful collaboration going!

Christa Fittschen
from France to United States
Teacher at Indiana University in Bloomington and Penn State University at State College (2004)

About us

SaveFulbright was initiated in March 2014 as an independent, web-based, grassroots initiative of concerned Fulbright alumni from all over the world dedicated to lobbying for a restoration of the $ 30 M cut to the Fulbright Program budget in 2015. It was the first truly global Fulbright alumni campaign.

  •  60% of all signatories come from the U.S.
  • 40% come from the rest of the world, with a lot of activity from France, Malaysia, Germany, Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Colombia and the UK
  • Over 30 news stories related to the SaveFulbright intiatitive have appeared various media (see below).
  • Collected over 500 stories about how Fulbrighters impacted their communities abroad and at home
  • For an update on the status of Congressional deliberations regarding the restoration of Fulbright Program funding by the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange click here

 

What the media says about us 

Inside Higher Ed: Save Fulbright; Fulbright spared

Slate: Don’t Extinguish the Fulbright

Boston Globe: Fulbright Funding Folly

New Republic: Don’t cut Fulbright. It’s benefits are immense

The Washington Post: Fulbright’s value in international relations scholarship

Huffington Post: #SaveFulbright: America Can’t Cut the Fulbright Program

The Washington Post: Nigeria’s Islamist insurgency & the value of Fulbright research

Arkansas News: Fulbright biographer opposes federal cuts to scholarship program

Ann Jones: “Washington’s Pivot to Ignorance: Will the State Department Torpedo Its Last Great Program”
Published in TomDispatch.com,  The Nation, Mother Jones, The Huffington Post, Truthout, OpEdNews, SeniorCorrespondent, Commondreams, Smirking Chimp, War is a crime, War in Context, Gorilla Radio Blog, Unz Review, Daily Kos, Fire Dog Lake, Salon, Bill Moyers

Chronicle: The Fulbright Program: Too Remarkable to Be Cut

Public Diplomacy Council: Will Someone Stand Up?

Deutsche Welle: Cuts could cripple US flagship exchange program

AlJazeera: Fulbright and the Decline of America’s cultural diplomacy

Inside Higher Ed: Save FulbrightFulbright spared

Arkansas News: Senate panel rejects proposed cut to Fulbright Scholar program

“The Fulbright Program aims to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in friendship and peace.”

- Senator Fulbright in the foreword of The Fulbright Program: A History, 1965

#SAVEFULBRIGHT