When I went to the US for the schoolyear of 1969-70, my goal was, of course, to learn more about the United States, but also to better my language use enough to take the teaching exam for English. Practice is the best teacher so I spoke as much as possible with my fellow students on campus in Shreveport, Louisiana. Sports is a good meeting point but the heat in the deep south kept me away from any outdoor activities. However there was a table-tennis group in the cool of the students center and there I challenged anyone playing.
One of the players was a long haired southern belle who kept beating me-- day after day after day. By the time spring came and I could win, I had also won her heart. We have now been married over 44 years, have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. She has been by my side while I was a teacher, principal, mayor of Bad Aussee for over 15 years, a member of the Federal Council of Austria and the Parliament of the European Union. Now we are enjoying the autumn of our years together-- all thanks to Fulbright Austria. THAT'S LIVING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE ORGANIZATION!
Erhard Meier was an Austrian Fulbright Student in History at Centenary College in 1969-70. Photo courtesy of Erhard Meier and the Austrian Parliament.