"The Program aims…to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and therby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship."
~ Senator J. William Fulbright, Fulbright Program: A History
Late one night two years ago, I sat at my desk and came across information on the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching program. At that time, it was only a few days until the deadline and I knew after one look at the application that I would never have the time to get together everything necessary for the application, not to mention the fact that I knew I would need time to develop a project. I signed up to for the notification that would remind me when the next application cycle opened and spent the next year considering ideas for the project.
For those not familiar with the Fulbright program, it began in 1946 after a bill proposed by Senator J. William Fulbright was passed into law. Funding for the program was acquired from the sale of surplus U.S. government war property. The program has grown to include many different branches, including the Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program. All branches of the Fulbright program encourage an exchange of ideas by allowing American citizens to research, work, and study abroad as well as inviting international applicants to do the same in the United States. Fulbright’s belief that “educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations” continues to ring true today. The program is a vehicle not just for developmental and sharing of intellectual pursuits, but to improve a greater cultural understanding between nations.
In the short time that have been a among the ranks privileged to be a part of the Fulbright program, I am already filled with gratitude and inspiration from those that I have met. I know that this is only the beginning and I am so excited to continue to learn from my own journey and by following the work of the talented teachers from all around the world.