Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thanks for your message. I'm pleased to learn of your interest in the Fulbright program…

…is how I have started almost every e-mail message I reply to from a prospective Fulbright U.S. Student Program applicant over the past eleven years.  I LOVE working with students on their Fulbright applications and fleshing out their ideas for the program.  In talking with students about their plans I get excited for the day my three young children are college-age and I’ll be highlighting  this program to them as they will have studied abroad (hopefully a few times and starting as early as high school) and will hopefully want to spend more time abroad on this great program.  With this in mind I thought I would jot down this quick note of Fulbright advice to my children as my facilities and memory may not be fully functioning in 21 years or so when my youngest will be graduating from College:

Dear kids [names withheld for privacy],

When applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition (or any Fulbright competition for that matter) remember that the Fulbright Program came as a result of World War II and its purpose is geared towards mutual understanding among peoples from the United States and other countries.  To be sure, the Fulbright program is an academic/scholarly venture but when you are thinking about your time abroad and preparing your proposal remember the underlying mission of the program.  This will help you prepare a meaningful and enjoyable experience.

Your mother and I raised you to be thoughtful, caring and respectful citizens of this planet and we know that you will take these values with you everywhere you go.  Now, go out and see the world.

Love, Dad

Photo credit: leftymgp


  1. Katie O'ConnellJuly 30, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    What a great letter to your children!

  2. @Katie ~ Many thanks. Let's just hope they listen to me better when they are college-age than they do now....