The Fulbright scholarship is known as one of the most prestigious scholarships that both American and international students pursue. Before I began my work at the Fulbright Commission in Warsaw, I was hoping that I would come away with a new perspective on how education can advance international diplomacy as well as gain invaluable work experience living in a different country. After my first week, my biggest task was creating a database of recent Polish alumni who studied at various institutions in the United States. To be honest, I never knew how many Fulbright scholars were part of the program each year. From Poland alone, there have been hundreds of scholars over the past 5-6 years that have gone to the United States to study things such as nuclear physics, music, and East Asian studies. Former alumni included a variety of students and educators from a countertenor that was becoming a promising musician in New York to a professor who is Poland’s top expert in American blues music. At the end of the week, I participated in organizing an orientation for upcoming Fulbright scholars and learned what their fields were and what the planned on studying in the US. After just this week, I’ve begun to understand how important this scholarship really is to academics from all fields. Seeing the excitement of future scholars having this opportunity to pursue their passions gives more weight to the work I’m going to be doing for the rest of my internship and I’m excited to start my second week.
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